Based on a 2010 census, about 1,443,000 or 1.57% of the total population in the Philippines are disabled. Republic Act No. 7277, or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, defined persons with disability or PWDs as “those suffering from restriction of different abilities, as a result of a mental, physical or sensory impairment, to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.” In an effort to achieve social equalization, the government is constantly pursuing measures to improve the quality of life of every Filipino in different sectors, particularly the PWDs.
The May 9 elections are approaching and preparations are on overdrive. In theory, everyone should be able to participate, and it is the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) task to make sure that happens. The preparations include special provisions for persons with disabilities (PWD), senior citizens, and pregnant women.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced Monday that it will coordinate with all concerned government agencies for the immediate crafting of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the law to ensure that persons with disabilities (PWDs) will enjoy their latest privileges.
Filipinos with disabilities can breathe a sigh of relief following the signing of Republic Act 10754, which now allows them to fully enjoy their mandated discounts.
Despite efforts of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and civil society to get eligible persons with disabilities to register, vote and do it with ease, the number of registered voters with disabilities for the May elections has slipped 14 percent from the 2013 polls.