MANILA, July 24 (PNA) –“Apolinario Mabini is an inspiration to persons with disabilities (PWDs).”
Thus said Carmen Zubiaga in an interview with the Philippines News Agency (PNA) as she joined other people in witnessing the inauguration of the Apolinario Mabini Museum at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Sta. Mesa Mabini Campus on Tuesday.
The inauguration is part of the closing celebration of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) week which kicked off July 17 and culminated on July 23.
It also marked the 149th birth anniversary of Mabini, known in Philippines history as the “Sublime Paralytic” who contributed a lot in the Philippine revolution despite of his disability.
“Mabini’s life and works are great examples that prove that no amount of disability can serve as a deterrent for PWDs to aspire in attaining their goals and be successful in the fields where they can explore their knowledge, skills, potentials and creativity,” Zubiaga said.
Zubiaga pointed out that PWDs should take a cue from Mabini who proved that he can do great for his country despite of his disability.
“Mabini’s courage and motivation to succeed and “be great” even if he belongs to a family that experienced poverty should be emulated by many PWDs and other youths as their guts can give them glory afterwards,” she added.
She also said that instead of asking for pity, every PWD should take his condition as a challenge to prove his capabilities and talents and that can also compete with other able-members of the society.
“If the PWDs can prove that they can also perform tasks that can be done by other able-bodied members of the society, they can contribute to nation building or help in promoting the country’s welfare by being productive like Mabini. The wrong notion that PWDs should not be given opportunity to work or be discriminated will soon end,” she explained.
She cited that other members of the society particularly the employers or heads of some entities should also be encouraged to also take the lead in initiating reforms, projects that will inspire PWDs to be more productive and display their capabilities.
“It is about time that more government and private entities will hire them more to work so that the PWDs will gain confidence and follow what Mabini did in proving that disability cannot hamper a person’s capacity to do other work,” she added.
She cited that there is a law that gives tax incentives to agencies and establishments that hire PWDs in order to encourage employers to take advantage of hiring PWDs and include them in their workforce where PWDs skills and efficiency can be utilized.
At present, some establishments that employed PWDs proved that many PWDs are very efficient.
Some PWDs are being hired as animators, artists, encoders, technicians, card sorters, among others.
“By employing them, companies are not only giving them chance to prove their capacity to work, they are also helping them to strongly stand-up, believe in themselves and be active partners in nation-building in an inclusive society for all,” she also added.
She expressed hope that through NDPR’s week-long celebration, more awareness about PWDs concerns and problems can be addressed in order to achieve the goal of having a society that understands, accepts, supports and cares for PWDs.
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