Establishing access ramps for physically-challenged individuals urged

November 25, 2010 11:51 am 

DUMAGUETE CITY, Nov. 25 – Commercial and government establishments in Dumaguete are urged to comply with the law that requires them to put in place an access ramp for persons-with-disabilities (PWDs).

The appeal was made by Tony Faburada, president of the PWD federation in Negros Oriental, in a forum held Tuesday here, in compliance with the implementation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 344 or the Accessibility Law.

Faburada has been tasked by the Department of Public Works and Highways –the government agency taking the lead in the implementation of the law on access ramps– to monitor establishments whether they are complying with the law.

Although no figures were made available, Faburada said many buildings and public places do not have access ramps.

Faburada also noted many sidewalks in the city are being utilized as parking space, thus making it harder for the PWDs to approach a particular establishment.

Engr. Edna Ravelo of the DPWH 2nd Engineering District in the same forum said they are continuously monitoring establishments that do not have access ramps for the physically-challenged individuals.

However, the DPWH’s function is only limited to monitoring. They have to submit a report to the Department of Justice for law enforcement, she said.

According to Ravelo, they have been reporting to the DOJ about the non-compliance of the Accessibility Law by many government and business establishments in the province. There has been so far, no report, of a violator being penalized under such law.

Newly constructed buildings often have access ramps and other features designed for PWDs while the existing ones do not have these facilities and many reportedly prefer to pay the penalty fees over the higher costs of renovation.

Ravelo cited the Capitol as among the government buildings that to-date do not have an access ramp for the PWDs. (PNA)



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