281 PWDs avail assistive devices

The provincial government of South Cotabato has provided at least 281 various assistive devices to identified Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), the Office of Persons with Disability Affairs Unit reports.

Disability Affairs Officer (PDAU)  Brian G. Hervilla said,  for three years in a row, the province has provided these devices to the PWDs with the objectives to advocate the rights of persons with disabilities and build their capacity for empowerment to be self-reliant and break of poverty to achieve a better quality of life.

These assistive devices were distributed to the ten towns and one city.  These include five (5) walkers, thirty 30 quad canes; 90 canes, 57 crutches, and 96 wheelchairs.

Herbilla said the province has a total of 6451 identified PWDs in the province. These include 2,619 female, 3,255 males, and 577 children. However, only the vulnerable and marginalized individuals can avail themselves of the assisted devices.

PSWDO Focal person for PWDs Jessie Palmes disclosed that in order to avail of the assistive device for PWDs, a representative from the family is encouraged to visit the PDAU.  The office requires one copy of the Barangay Certificate of Indigence and a whole-body picture (one copy) of a family member with a disability.

Palmes added that the submitted requirements are to be validated prior to the availment.  He emphasized, that this program will improve the PWD’s independence and enhances their overall well-being.

To date, the distribution of wheelchairs, cane, crutches, and walkers to ten municipalities and one city of the province continue which started in January 2019.

This program is in partnership with the Department of Health Region 12 (DOH) and RD Foundation.

For this year 2021, the PGO-PDAU has an appropriation of Php330,000.