By Lilybeth G. Ison
The House of Representatives has taken steps to ensure the welfare of youths with disabilities by approving on third and final reading two measures that would address their educational and rehabilitation requirements.
Bagong Henerasyon party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, vice chairperson of the House Committee on Children’s Welfare, said the Lower Chamber voted 197 for and 0 against to pass House Bills 6547 and 6509 before going on break.
Herrera-Dy is the principal author of HB 6547 which provides the establishment of at least one Special Education center for each school division in the country.
Each center will enroll students requiring special attention due to physical disabilities, learning difficulties and high intelligence capabilities.
HB 6547 also provides the putting up of three SPED centers in big school divisions.
Herrera-Dy also co-authored HB 6509 providing for the setting up of rehabilitation centers for children with disabilities in cities and municipalities.
Rehabilitation halls will also serve youths with disabilities who are 18 to 35 years old.
She said the measures is in consonance with the provisions of Republic Act 7277 or the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Meanwhile, the Dept. of Education said it is throwing its full support to the Resources for the Blind, Inc, a non-government organization, which will be holding a congress on teaching strategies for students with visual impairment.
Slated in Cebu this October, the congress will solidify initiatives on collaborative and inclusive strategies of teaching Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics to students with visual impairment.
DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro said the department welcomes such a move by non-government organizations in partnering with the government to bring critical educational assistance to the underserved sector.
“We thank the Resources for the Blind, Inc for this very timely initiative which will surely have a positive impact on learners who have special learning needs,” he said.
Luistro explained that such event will lead to the empowerment of students with visual impairment because of the benefit they can derive from learning highly technical subjects such as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
These initiatives run parallel with the goals of the DepEd to make basic education truly responsive to and inclusive of all learners.
The congress also aims to inspire teachers and instill a sense of pride in their work for ministering to the educational needs of students who are differently-abled.