Iloilo province wins another prestigious award, this time in recognition of its programs and projects for the persons with disabilities (PWDs).
The Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled (PFRD), Inc. has conferred on Iloilo Province the 2017 Apolinario Mabini Award for the Local Government.
Lourdes Dela Llana Pimentel, chairperson of the 2017 Apolinario Mabini Awards, in a letter sent to Gov. Arthur Defensor, Sr., said the province has “qualified with the standards of a Local Government Unit that has rendered exceptional services to the mass of citizens with disabilities within its jurisdiction in the last two years.”
PFRD is a non-government organization established in 1949 dedicated to the promotion of measures to prevent disability, protect and rehabilitate the disabled and equalize opportunities for disabled persons.
The awarding ceremony has yet to be scheduled by the organization but it will be definitely held in Manila. The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) headed by Dr. Neneth Q. Pador is in the forefront of the implementation of programs in pursuit of the administration’s vision to make Iloilo a non-handicapping and PWD-friendly province.
In 2013, the province launched a scholarship program for PWDs where 10 poor but bright PWDs are admitted every year. Also, the province has partnered with the Latter Day Saints Charities Foundation for the distribution of 600 wheelchairs and 300 assistive devices to qualified beneficiaries.
The two innovative programs became the basis for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region VI to confer on Iloilo province the 2016 Gawad sa Makabagong Teknolohiyang Panlipunan.
Iloilo province is also one of the pioneer LGUs in the country to establish a dedicated Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) within the PSWDO. PDAO, headed by Mario Abaygar, is tasked to address the needs of PWDs in the province.