Senator Leila de Lima has called for a legislative inquiry on the compliance of local government units (LGUs) with accessibility laws for persons with disabilities (PWDs).
De Lima filed Senate Resolution 534 on October 25 directing the appropriate committee to conduct an inquiry on the implementation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 344, otherwise known as the Accessibility Law, and Republic Act No. 7277 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.
“For the sake of our countrymen with disabilities, there is need to examine the level of implementation and enforcement of B.P. 344 and to look into possible corrective legislation to ensure that it is adequately enforced,” De Lima said.
She pointed out that most public and private buildings, transportation facilities, and other establishments have not satisfactorily complied with these two laws for PWDs.
In the resolution, De Lima took note of reported cases where some LGUs, notably in Baguio City and Cainta, Rizal, have failed to ensure that public buildings, footbridges, staircases, and sidewalks are made accessible to PWDs.
“Non-compliance by any establishment automatically deprives PWDs with opportunities to avail of essential services and ultimately participate fully in social life and development of the societies in which they live and the enjoyment of opportunities available to other citizens,” the senator said.
De Lima further pointed out that the Philippines is a state party to the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities since 2008.
In 2010, according to the census of the Philippine Statistics Authority, there are 16 out of 1,000 Filipinos who have a disability, or about 1.57 percent of the total population.
De Lima said she hopes the probe will result in coming up with legislating measures that will increase the accessibility and mobility of PWDs. —Kathrina Charmaine Alvarez/KBK, GMA News