Opinion: PWDs Non-persons in Bacolod City?
We have been following since last week the alleged preparations of the City of Bacolod Welfare Office and we can see for ourselves that PERSONS WITHDISABILITIES (PWDs) do not count insofar as Mayor Leonardia and his cohorts are concerned!
With the miniscule budget that was allocated for the celebration, it is very obviously exhibited by Mayor Leonardia, Vice Mayor Sayson and most of the City Councilors that they do not care at all for PWDs! We had hoped that Councilor Cesar Distrito would take up the cudgels for the PWDs inasmuch as Councilor Em L. Ang has not shown that she is very concerned about the plight of the PWDs! Despite the fact that Councilor Em (NPA) Ang is the chairperson of this committee in the City Council, she has never even bothered to attend the meetings for this purpose.
While the PWD Week was officially opened yesterday at the NGC, only the employees of the Office of the City and disabled persons attended the ceremonies. It is now clearly evident, that the PWDs are one of the most neglected sectors in this so-called City of Smiles.
Melchor Tumbos, representing the visually impaired and the blind sector, when asked to speak in behalf of his sector, called the attention of the authorities on their apparent neglect and unconcern for all the disabled persons in the City! He stated, "The proof of the eating is in the pudding" which goes to say that Mayor Leonardia, Vice Mayor Sayson and the city councilors are probably not aware that there are many PWDs in the City who are themselves also voters.
Another proof of the City’s unconcern is that they have not been complying with the law on disabled persons. Despite the appeals of the PWDs, the city has yet to give them an office at the NGC or any of the city’s buildings. Thus far, only Brgy. Handumanan has complied with the law and there is no plausible excuse for the city not to have any space for the PWDs. Another is that with its BILLION PESOS BUDGET, the city is mandated to set aside ONE PERCENT of its budget which will be shared by the PWDs and the senior citizens. Have Mayor Leonardia and Vice Mayor Sayson complied with the law?
Every year, for so many years now, "a paralympics has been held at the USLS covered court, but this year none as what the city officials want instead are only PARLOR GAMES! All because the City cannot afford this year the TWENTY THOUSAND PESO BUDGET! It is no wonder that the City of Bacolod is retrogressing as they do not consider that we are now in the modern age! What games will they have for the blind? HIDE AND SEEK or what not!
If asked, who is to blame on this fiasco? Certainly, Councilor Em L. Ang and even Councilor Distrito! But the biggest burden of the blame falls on the shoulders of Mayor Leonardia and Vice Mayor Sayson!
The visually-impaired, the blind, the lame, the deaf and dumb and all other persons with disabilities are BALE NADA sa mga opisyales sang Bacolod as shown very clearly - and this, despite the fact that Mayor Leonardia has an autistic child!
Where are their hearts, their compassion for the PWDs?*