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Daily Archives: June 3, 2019

Drilon’s help needed to expedite Treñas’ PWD bill

“My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit as well as physically.”

–Stephen Hawking

By Alex P. Vidal60336807_10214018136070347_8150589498095304704_n

WE hope that before the Philippine Congress adjourns sine die on Friday, June 7, Ilonggo Senator Franklin Drilon will help expedite the passage of the senate version of the House Bill 9106 that seeks to grant additional privileges to persons with disabilities (PWDs) and will amend provisions of the Magna Carta for PWDs (Republic Act 7277), such as mandatory employment in government offices and corporations, including the private sector.
There are senators, aside from Drilon, who can help prioritize the passage of the bill within three to four days now, but the senior lawmaker from Molo district may hold the golden key since he is more closer to the heart of the bill’s chief sponsor.
The bill, authored by Iloilo City Representative and Mayor-elect Geronimo “Jerry” Treñas, was recently approved in the third the final reading in the Lower House (House of Representatives).

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If the counterpart bill in the Upper House (Senate) is approved before June 7, it becomes a law once President Rodrigo Duterte has signed it.
“The House has already approved this new PWD bill and it’s now up to the Senate to do the same. I’m not losing hope that we can still pass this into law,” Treñas recently said.
Republic Act 7277, or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, defined PWDs as “those suffering from restriction of different abilities, as a result of a mental, physical or sensory impairment, to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.”
All government agencies, offices or government corporations are mandated to fill at least two percent of all positions for qualified PWDs, under the measure.
Under Treñas bill, private corporations with more than 1,000 employees will be required to allot at least two percent of all positions for PWDS and one percent for those with less than 1,000 employees.

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Private firms that employ PWDs who meet the required skills or qualifications as apprentices or learners in return “shall be entitled to an additional deduction, from their gross income, equivalent to 25 percent of the total amount paid as salaries and wages to PWDs.”
On the other hand, “private entities that employ PWDs as regular employees shall be entitled to an additional deduction from their gross income, equivalent to 50 percent of the total amount paid as salaries and wages for the PWDs.”
Treñas’ measure also mandates the provision of free assistive technology services including designing, customizing, maintaining, repairing or replacing assistive technology devices to enhance the functional capacity of PWDs.
Also provided on the proposed law as additional privileges for PWDs are as follows:
Monthly stipend amounting to P500 for marginalized PWDs to augment their daily subsistence, medical and other needs.

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Exemption from passport processing fees, as well as travel taxes, terminal fees, other fees and charges levied on airports, ports, or other terminals by the government, any of its agencies or instrumentalities, or by government-owned or controlled corporations.
There is also the lifetime validity of PWD identification cards.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is also mandated to monitor compliance on the provisions of the proposed law and ensure the privileges provided are not abused by its beneficiaries.
Based on the 2010 Census, there are 1,443,000 PWDs comprising 1.57% of the total population, in the country. In the 2013 elections, there were around 365,000 registered PWD voters.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)

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Posted by on June 3, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

‘Sinulog’ fills ‘Dinagyang’s’ vacuum in New York parade

“I tell you, if you’re in the front row of the parade and you stop walking, pretty soon you’re back in the tuba section. And if you want to lead the parade you’ve got to keep moving.”

–Phil McGraw

By Alex P. Vidal60336807_10214018136070347_8150589498095304704_n

NEW YORK CITY — IN absence of perennial Philippine Independence Day Parade in New York City participant, Iloilo City’s Dinagyang Festival, Cebu City’s Sinulog Festival was center of attraction during the 121st Philippine Independence Anniversary Commemoration parade June 2 in New York City.
Aside from Dinagyang Festival, also missed by the crowd in this year’s parade along Madison Avenue in the Manhattan borough, was Guimaras’ Manggahan Festival, which debuted in the 120th edition last year.
The double Western Visayas participation was led last year by Iloilo City Mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa III and Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation boss Ramon Cua Locsin for the Dinagyang Festival and Guimaras Governor Samuel Gumarin and the provincial officials of Guimaras for the Manggahan Festival.
Also a repeat parade participant was Bacolod City’s Masskara Festival performed by US-based Bacolodnons.
Like other religious and cultural festivals in the Philippines that honor the miraculous image of Santo Niño, Sinulog is a dance ritual that moves to the sound of the drums and this resembles the current (Sulog) of what was then known as Cebu’s Pahina River.
They say it’s Sinulog in Cebuano. More than just the meaning of the word is the dance’s significance.

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The Sinulog Festival is a traditional celebration in Cebu City held every third Sunday of January to honor the Santo Niño (Child Jesus) for 32 years now. The festival is basically done by a dance ritual, in which it tells the story of the Filipino people’s pagan past and their acceptance of Christianity.
The annual New York City parade, supervised by the Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc. with the cooperation of the Philippine Consulate General in New York, aimed to create awareness of Philippine culture and to raise funds for charity projects in the Philippines and the United States.
The Philippine Independence Day celebration in the northeastern United States includes not only New York but also the 12 states under the jurisdiction of the Philippine Consulate General in New York, namely, Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Depending on the theme each year, the overall chairperson may expand and invite other areas to participate in PIDC’s many activities.

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Traditionally held along Madison Avenue from 37th to 25th Streets in Manhattan, the climax of the preparation, the Philippine Independence Day Parade, Street Fair and Cultural Show, held on the first Sunday in June each year is the biggest celebration of Philippine Independence outside the Philippines.
The Street Fair and Cultural Show take place on the east side of Madison Square Park. The festivities include a beauty, brains and talent contest that concludes in the Diwa ng Kalayaan (Spirit of Independence) Selection and Coronation Pageant and Gala, Philippine Independence Ball (the culminating festivity of the annual commemoration held on the Saturday after the first Sunday in June), An Evening with the Consul General, the Grand Marshal Gala, other fund raising activities, special cultural presentations and other events that may be initiated by the overall chairperson.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2019 in Uncategorized