BARMM legislators file bill to set up office for persons with disability
January 25, 2022

COTABATO CITY — To bring “permanency and stability” to the implementation of programs for the welfare of persons with disabilities, several members of the Bangsamoro Parliament filed Parliament Bill 167 or Bangsamoro Disability Welfare Act of 2021.

“This merely reinforces the commitment of the Bangsamoro Government to take care of, protect, and rehabilitate individuals, families, and communities in the Bangsamoro region, especially those who have less in life and those who need social welfare interventions,” MP Amir Mawallil said in the explanatory note.

Under the proposed measure, which intends to establish an institutional system to ensure the implementation of programs and services for PWDs, a Regional Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office (R-PDAO) must be created.

The office should be under the control and supervision of the Ministry of Social Services and Development, which will explore livelihood opportunities and other initiatives to improve the health, physical fitness, economic and social well-being of PWDs.

The office’s responsibilities include formulating and implementing policies, plans, and programs that will promote the welfare of disabled persons; representing the sector in meetings of Bangsamoro Economic Development Council; gathering relevant data on the disabled persons in all components of BARMM local government units, disseminating information on training and employment opportunities, among others.

“Due to long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairments, they are generally considered highly vulnerable and confronted with challenges,” MP Mawallil added.

He reiterated that the Bangsamoro Organic Law provides the establishment of a special agency, support facilities, and livelihood or skills training for PWDs and other disadvantaged persons for their rehabilitation and productive integration into mainstream society.In order to foster the PWDs’ capability to attain a more meaningful, productive, and satisfying life, MP Mawallil emphasized that the Bangsamoro Government must exert efforts to remove all social, cultural, economic, and environmental barriers that are prejudicial to disabled persons. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)