Solon bats for the creation of rehabilitation centers for disabled children and young adults

July 29, 2013 10:59 am 

MANILA, July 29 — Rep. Marcelino Teodoro (1st District, Marikina City) has strongly pushing for the establishment of rehabilitation centers for children and young adults with disabilities in all cities and municipalities throughout the country.

Teodoro filed House Bill 457 which aims to institutionalize the establishment of Stimulation and Therapeutic Activity Centers (STAC) for children with disabilities as well as the communities they live in.

The solon authored the bill as he recognized the government’s concern and responsibility to facilitate the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities as provided by Republic Act 7277 or the “Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities” and the “United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”

According to Teodoro, while there are numerous government and private initiatives to assist PWDs through the installation of facilities and infrastructure aids that give them more mobility in public places and entitlement of some privileges and incentives, there is a lack of provision from the State that directly address their need for physical and social rehabilitation.

“Many PWDs are able to overcome some mobility problems when intervention rehabilitation programs were available. Lifelong disabilities can be addressed if these special therapy sessions are conducted early. This is very significant considering that 20 percent of the estimated one million PWDs in the country are children,” he said.

Teodoro said poor families are incapable of availing special therapy sessions because of their prohibitive costs and/or lack of accessible facilities. “A child with disability needs at least two to three therapy sessions a week with each session costing from P300 to P500, apart from other medical needs required for their full rehabilitation,” he added.

Teodoro said through these STAC centers which were put up in the country by a non-government organization, the Katipunan ng Maykapansanan sa Pilipinas, Inc. (KAMPI), and implemented the “Breaking Barriers for Children and Young Adults with Disabilities” (BBCY) project through the support of the Danish Society of Polio and Accident Victims, many children with disabilities were able to improve their mobility and skills, and had become productive members of society.

“These centers provide free evaluation, physical and occupational therapy and socialization activities for the PWDs and their families. Other activities include specialized training for parents, teachers, and barangay health workers. A large number of these STAC centers were later on turned over to local government units and were sustained well to this day,” Teodoro said.

The measure also known as the “Children and Youth with Disabilities Empowerment Act of 2013” requires the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the National Council on Disability Affairs to promulgate the implementing rules and regulations of this Act in collaboration with local government agencies and non-government organizations advocating the rights of PWDs.

Under the measure, the local government unit (LGU) through the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office and Municipal Health Office shall designate social and health workers as staff members for the centers.

Each center shall be composed of an Occupational Therapist/Physical Therapist, Special Education teacher, Barangay Health Worker, trained in providing basic rehabilitation, and Social Workers who will identify, assess and provide the social services to be rendered to the children and young adults with disabilities and their families.

All grants, endowments, donations and contributions to the Centers shall be exempt from donor’s tax. (PNA)

FFC/PR/EBP

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