BUTUAN CITY– The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Caraga along with its partner agencies celebrated the 38th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) week last July 18-22, 2016.

The theme of this year’s celebration is “Karapatan ng Maykapansanan, Isakatuparan… Now na!” that focuses on the fundamental freedom and rights of the Persons with Disability (PWD).

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Angelita Amista, Division Chief of IDD/PSU of DSWD, welcomes the participants during the Forum on the Rights, Privileges and Opportunities of PWDs held at Robinson’s Place, Butuan City.

The week-long celebration kicked-off with a Mass on July 18, 2016 at Saint Joseph Cathedral, Guingona followed by the program proper at 10 o’clock in the morning.

Among the government agencies that joined the celebration were Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Local Government of Butuan, and Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

Angelita Amista, Chief of Institutional Development Division/Protective Services Unit of DSWD, welcomed and thanked the attendees during the opening program held at Robinson Place here.

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CHR Information Officer Leonor Ledesma discusses the benefits of PWDs.

Also, Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Information Officer Leonor Ledesma discussed the privileges of PWDs in accordance with the law. This includes the Republic Act. No. 10754, an act expanding the benefits and privileges of PWDs that was approved this year.

“PWDs are entitled to at least 20% discount and exemption from the value-added tax (VAT). This includes fees and charges in hotels, restaurant, recreation centers, theaters, and among others,” explained Ledesma.

“It is important that the PWDs know their every right and privileges, and people must recognize and value their existence,’’ he added.

Other activities were conducted for NDPR which includes Forum on the Rights, Privileges and Opportunities of PWDs, Regional Convention of the Rights of PWDs, Training on How to Handle the Behavior of Children with Special Needs, and Agusan del Norte Provincial Abilympics Competition.

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Children with special needs from Butuan City are listening to the speakers during the 38th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) week last July 18, 2016.

The NDPR Week is an annual celebration of the national government every 3rd week of July. Its primary objective is to stimulate public awareness on disability problems and concerns particularly issues on disability prevention, rehabilitation, and equalization of opportunities for PWDs nationwide. ###(ABEGAIL R. ALVAREZ/Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga)