REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM

Kagawaran ng Turismo

         

PST: September/19/2018 

Local News

 

Manila, Philippines - The Department of Tourism (DOT) led an inter-agency consultative meeting on Barrier-Free Tourism on Monday aimed at reinforcing and improving existing policies and programs that address the needs of the differently-abled population in the country, or the persons with disabilities (PWDs) as referred to by many - whether they be tourists or residents.

The meeting, initiated by the DOT Office of Industry Manpower Development (OIMD) a Director Nelly Nita Dillera, was attended by representatives from the Departments of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Trade and Industry (DTI), Health (DOH), and the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA). The academe and the private sector were also ably represented and together, provided various perspectives in evolving solutions.

Director Dillera emphasized that "it is imperative for the different line agencies to band together to ensure that the needs of the PWDs are addressed".

NCDA representative Carmen Reyes-Zubiaga reiterated the importance of a "disability-inclusive development", and encouraged both the NGAs and NGOs to invest in servicesfor persons with disabilities (PWDs) since it not only promotes inclusivity and accessibility, it also promotes good business.

Moreover, Zubiaga also highlighted NCDA's efforts in promoting a "non-handicapping environment, and projects to eliminate physical and environmental barriers" for PWDs.

The discussion covered among others, challenges in providing barrier-free services such as the lack of awareness among stakeholders, and the lack of appropriate trainings among service providers - from assistive technology-friendly facilities, to equipped and capable personnel who can communicate with clients who are speech-impaired, or with mental health conditions.

The body also focused on ways to create a non-handicapping environment through the implementation of national policies, adopted by the local government units (LGUs) and transformed into visible and tangible programs and services.

A Communication Action Plan will be prepared to strengthen the coordination of the public and private sectors in creating and implementing projects to be able to develop and provide more efficient services for PWD tourists and citizens.

Sec. Wanda Teo

Sec. Wanda Teo

It is imperative for the different line agencies to band together to ensure that the needs of the PWDs are addressed. - Director Nely Nita Dillera

Sec. Wanda Teo

Sec. Wanda Teo

NCDA representative Carmen Reyes-Zubiaga speaks on the impact of "disability-inclusive development".

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