JICA Participant 1989 : Group Training Course on Leadership for Disabled Persons
TRAINING & CONFERENCES ATTENDED :
|1. Leadership Training Course for Physically Disabled Persons under Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Individualized Training Focus: ACCESSIBILITY
|Tokyo, Japan||August 22 – October 6, 1989|
|2. NGO Regional Conference to Campaign for the Asia-Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons : 1993 – 2002||Okinawa, Japan||October 18 – 19, 1993|
|3. Seoul Conference on Rehabilitation Manpower Development and Networking in the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons : 1993 – 2002||Seoul, Korea||October 22 – 23, 1993|
|4. Osaka Forum: The Closing of the Asia-Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons||Osaka, Japan||October 21 – 23, 2002|
|5. “Strengthening of Self-Help Groups of Disabled Persons Towards Empowering PWDs for PWDs” by JICA & DSWD||Manila, Philippines||September 25 – 26, 2003|
|6. Convergence 2003 : Nat’l Consultation of Leaders with Disabilities by NCWDP for the New Decade of PWDs||Davao, Philippines||September 29 – October 2, 2003|
|7. Philippine Independent Living Seminar and Workshop||Cebu, Philippines||July 12 – 16, 2004|
|8. Training of Managerial Personnel of Independent Living Centers for People with Disabilities||Bangkok, Thailand||March 1 – 18, 2005|
AFFILIATIONS IN THE DISABILITY SECTOR :
|1. Handicapped Anchored in Christ, Inc. (HACI) : Member : ORA (#2) and CCDC (#5)||Incorporator; Past President ; Accessibility Committee Chairman|
|2. Organization of Rehabilitation Agencies (ORA) : Member : RCWDP – 7 (#3) and RDC – 7 (#6)||Past President|
|3. Regional Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (RCWDP) – 7||Vice – Chairman|
|4. Accessibility Monitoring Committee II (under ORA & RCWDP – 7):||Vice – Chairman|
|5. Cebu City Development Council (CCDC) :||Member, representing HACI|
|6. Regional Development Council – 7 (RDC) :||Member, representing ORA|
|7. Cebu City Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (CCCWDP) (The body behind the Office of PWD Affairs or OPDA)||Member, representing the orthopedically handicapped sector|
|8. Jesus S. Avila Foundation, Inc. :||President|
|9. Rehabilitation Action Network for Asia & Pacific (RANAP) :||Member|
|10. Katipunan ng Maykapansanan sa Pilipinas, Inc. (KAMPI) :||Incorporator|
MAJOR ACTIVITIES IN THE DISABILITY FIELD :
1. Wrote the following articles :
- “The Status of Disabled Persons in the Philippines”, Fukushi Rodo, Tokyo, Japan, 1993
- “The Employment Status of PWDs in the Philippines”, Asia Pacific Journal, 2001
- “A Review of the Status of Accessibility in Asian and Pacific Countries after the Asia-Pacific Decade of PWDs 1993-2002”, Disability Information Resources, JSRD, 2002
2. Initiated the revival of the Accessibility Monitoring Committee under the Regional Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (RCWDP – 7) in 2001 for the better implementation of the Accessibility Law.
3. Regularly took pictures and now videos of actual accessibility features (for all mobility, visual and hearing impaired) in Japan and Thailand (and in the United States 2 years prior to JICA training), gathered similar material from friends who travel and from rehabilitation books and journals, and made consultations on the Japan side and with ORA-member rehabilitation doctors and physical therapists for use in advocacy and information dissemination via printed material and CD presentation through the network of HACI, ORA and RCWDP – 7.
4. Gave (and continues to give) talk presentations on “The International Standards of Accessibility : The Key to Independent Living & Equalization of Opportunities” to the following target audiences :
- United Architects of the Philippines (Cebu Chapters)
- Prospective Employers of PWDs (Metro Cebu)
- Cebu Medical Society
- Department of Education – 7 (Cebu City)
- Department of Public Works & Highways (entire Region 7)
- Representatives from the Offices of the Building Official (cities & province of Cebu)
- Cebu Institute of Technology Students of Architecture
- Southwestern University Students of Civil Engineering
- PWDs & provincial government entities of Oroquieta City
- Deaf and the hearing – impaired
- Filipino PWD Leaders at NCWDP’s Convergence (Davao)
- Cebu City Development Council
- SPED Teachers’ Training students of University of San Carlos
- Caregiver Students
- Regional Development Council – 7
- Cebu Doctors’ University Students of Physical Therapy
5. Conducts monitoring activities with other members of the Accessibility Monitoring Committee-2 (AMC – 2) of new buildings with the permission and cooperation of the Office of the Building Official to give building architects, owners, contractors, and supervisors technical advice, photocopied pictures and design specifications and dimensions to guide them in implementing accessibility correctly.
6. Makes reports of findings and recommendations of building inspections to the Office of the Building Official or to the DPWH – 7.
7. Encouraged the creation of Accessibility Monitoring Committees in Manila, Cagayan de Oro, Dumaguete and Oroquieta Cities and maintains networking with some of its members to share support and advocacy materials.
8. Lobby for new local ordinance to put more meaning and strength in the implementation process.
9. Render regular reports of AMC – 2 activities to the RCWDP – 7.
10. Build better awareness of accessibility issues with PWDs nation – wide through the yahoogroups.
THE CHALLENGES I SAW IN ACCESSIBILITY ADVOCACY & IMPLEMENTATION :
1. The system of government is such that there is the fast turn-over of employees in the Office of the Building Official and other representatives in the different line agencies that leads to the frequent need for information and education regarding disability issues and accessibility, thus leading to their lack of preparedness to tackle disability/accessibility issues at work and at RCWDP meetings.
2. Some provisions in the Accessibility Law badly needs to be amended and upgraded to international standards, yet adapted to Filipino height/stature; otherwise, it will always form the minimum basis for implementation which is not useful to disabled users.
3. Government has not led by example in the implementation of the Accessibility Law.
4. Government agencies still have not given disability issues and accessibility implementation high priority.
5. There exists the reality of political interference to bypass building requirements for personal or political interests.
6. There is often refusal to take responsibility for non-implementation on the professional or organizational levels.
7. The occupancy permit is given without regard to correct accessibility compliance.
8. Corruption : Violators would rather pay under the table to get away from compliance.
9. Inefficient and poorly motivated government employees do not care about disability issues in the daily conduct of their jobs.
10. The bureaucracy, “We must first consult or get a go-signal from the central office in Manila…” is a hindrance or a delay when finding solutions to certain pressing issues.
11. Budgetary (real or imaginary) constraints in both government and private sectors have become the first or favorite excuse for non-compliance or non-implementation.
12. There is a severe lack of material available on the specs of the Accessibility Law by implementers and architects. Even DPWH – 7 engineers once claimed that they had only vaguely heard about it.
13. There is a lack of awareness of how accessibility could contribute to business, tourism and the economy.
14. There is always that misconception that “accessibility is expensive.”
15. The misconception that accessibility serves only a few/minority of the population makes it unnecessary and financially unjustifiable.
Societal / Attitudinal :
16. Implementation is rampantly for the sake of compliance only, thus leading to so many foolish mistakes, useless features and futile renovations.
17. The lack of cooperation from the business sector is palpable, indicating discrimination and the lack of respect for the rights and dignity of disabled persons.
18. On the matter of elementary education, children with orthopedic disabilities are presumably lumped together with those needing SPED, when in fact their mental, visual and hearing faculties are normal. All they need are ramps and disabled-friendly toilets, which are still virtually non-existent in schools.
19. The prevalent attitude of society is that a PWD always comes with a companion and is always given help when needed; hence, there is no need for accessibility.
20. Majority of architects and contractors do not know how to implement accessibility correctly and do not seem to try to get the right information, especially from a PWD.
21. One major problem is that construction starts even before the building permit is obtained ; hence, planning for inclusion of access features comes too late.
22. The poor educational background among laborers in the construction industry is a contributory factor as to why implementation goes wrong, particularly when there is poor communication or supervision or lack of attention to detail in the construction process by the architects or contractors.
23. There is the misconception that accessibility is “just ramps” – that just because there is one means that the building is accessible.
24. The misconception or legalistic argument that one may not implement any access feature or design of a higher standard than what is stipulated in the Accessibility Law without becoming “illegal”.
25. Superstitious beliefs, such as Feng Sui, can make implementation difficult or complicated.
26. There are still many PWDs who do not know about accessibility and what big difference it can make in their lives through the equalization of opportunities.
27. There is still poor coordination and cooperation among those who work for accessibility advocacy.
28. Many disability organizations do not have accessibility monitoring and implementation as part of their major programs of activity.
29. There is a great lack of funding support for the sustainability of advocacy and monitoring activities.
30. There is still a lack of initiative and commitment on the part of some PWDs to work for the cause of accessibility.