QC builds care center for CWDs

MANILATo provide for the needs of children with disabilities (CWDs) in the city, the Quezon City (QC) local government has established a special care facility for them in Barangay Batasan Hills.

QC Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte said the Kabahagi Resource Center for CWDs aims to improve the quality of life of CWDs through mobilization of community resources, the provision of services and the creation of equal access to health, educational, vocational, and social opportunities for the stakeholders.

I feel we lack programs for children with disabilities...We realized there are some problems like, for example, in terms of assessment, early intervention, treating the patients, 'di sila maka-afford ng therapists and developmental pediatricians, medyo magastos (they cannot afford therapists and developmental pediatricians, it's quite costly)," Belmonte said in a statement on May 2.

She added intervention programs will be provided to CWDs depending on the disability. In case the CWDs need to transfer to more appropriate institutions, the center has referral and training programs for their parents for free.

The resource center, which will be launched in June, was conceptualized with the support of barangays, concerned city hall offices, national government agencies, people's organizations, medical professionals and the private sector, Belmonte said.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday, QC Persons with Disability (PWD) Affairs Office focal person Arnold De Guzman said that centers like this are important to both CWDs and PWDs.

"A center like that is an opportunity for CWDs and PWDs where they can get proper and good service, we welcome projects like this since we cannot do everything on our own, it's good that services and centers like these are replicated," De Guzman said.

De Guzman said there are health services provided at a lower cost for PWDs at certain hospitals in the city.

"There are health services provided like the treatment and therapies, like in Philippine Mental Health and Philippine Children's Medical Center, they are not free but with lower costs or fees compared to private hospitals and this can help the PWDs," he said.

"Also, Councilor Ramon Medalla passed an ordinance for the assessment, evaluation of PWDs, we drafted this with Department of Education and City Health Department, we'd be fixing it and implementing it in the future. It says there would be free therapy for each child depending on his or her disability, there would be a budget for that," he added.

Despite the lack of free health services for PWDs, De Guzman said the QC local government continues to provide help and benefits to them so they can be productive members of community.

The local government provides an ID which gives 20 percent discount plus 12 percent VAT exemption on food, medicine, and transportation; 5 percent discount on basic needs; and employment to some PWDs in the city hall and barangays.

"For employment, I have researched that there are around 60 PWDs here in the departments of city hall and even more in barangays who employ PWDs for different jobs," he said.

"We also have programs such as distribution of hearing aids, training for livelihood projects for, art classes for CWDs right here in the city hall," he added. (With reports from Jomari Castigador-OJT/PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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