A DSWD reminder on ridiculing PWDs
In reaction to reports about persons with disabilities (PWDs) being ridiculed during political rallies, the Department of Social Welfare and Development once again reminds the public that all acts that tend to diminish the self-worth and the sense of dignity of PWDs violate the rights of PWDs and the law.
The DSWD, needless to say, condemns such acts.
Adhering to the guiding principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, the DSWD is one with the state in strongly advocating and encouraging respect for PWDs.
The law mandates that PWDs should be protected from public ridicule and vilification.
Section 39 of Republic Act No. 9442 defines public ridicule as any act that makes fun or a mockery of, or contemptuously imitates PWDs because of their impairments, whether in writing, in words or in action, such that it causes them
embarrassment and lessens their self-worth. No individual, group or community may perform such acts at any time or place.
As the lead agency in providing directions to empower PWDs, the DSWD calls on everyone, especially those in public office and those who want to become leaders of this nation, to demonstrate utmost propriety and sensitivity in dealing with the members of this sector.
Let us be more sensitive to their needs and enable them such that they become contributing community members. Let us help them enjoy their rights!
Much has been done to mainstream PWDs in our society, still a lot more has to be done. Let us continue to fight for their rights and push for their total development so that they become more productive citizens of this country.
—CEZARIO JOEL C. ESPEJO, director, Social Marketing Service, Department of Social Welfare and Development
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