Quezon City Rep. Patrick Michael Vargas renewed his appeal to local government units (LGUs) to establish their respective Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) in accordance with Republic Act 10070 or the amended Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.
Vargas said he expects the LGUs to fulfill their role in establishing a PDAO in every province, city and municipality, to further ensure the implementation of programs and services for persons with disabilities, as mandated by RA 10070 which was enacted in 2010.
“More than 12 years after the law was enacted, Filipino persons with disabilities remain vulnerable to marginalization with the absence of established PDAOs in many LGUs in the country,” Vargas said in a House Resolution 209 he earlier filed in the House of Representatives.
Out of the 81 provinces, 146 cities and 1,488 municipalities in the country, Vargas noted in the resolution the National Council for Disability Affairs (NCDA) reported that only a total of 387 LGUs have established a PDAO as of June 2021.
Of the 387 LGUs, only 254 have designated Focal Persons that may function as PDAO in the absence of such and is particularly found in 4th to 7th class municipalities.
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult for Filipino persons with disabilities to avail of certain social services whereby local PDAOs could have alleviated these problems on accessibility,” Vargas said.
The resolution also noted the need for PDAO and its designated focal persons to actively monitor and update the data on persons with disabilities in the country to aid in the delivery of social services targeted to them.
“It’s been more than a decade of waiting; It’s high time we deliver the promise of better and more accessible social services to Filipino persons with disabilities and their families,” Vargas added.
In 2021, then-Quezon City 5th District Representative Alfred Vargas, brother of incumbent Rep. PM Vargas, filed a similar resolution in the 18th Congress.