Persons with disabilities emphasize need to involve in DRR programs
Asia-Pacific, Disaster, October 15 2017
PHILIPPINES: In its effort towards disaster risk reduction, persons with disabilities (PWDs) expressed the need to involve themselves in disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction programs.
The secretary general of the World Blind Union Asia-Pacific Teddy Kahil, who is visually impaired, said Thursday last week that persons with disabilities are greatly affected during disaster.
“I, as a blind person, can move quickly in times of disaster, but the only problem is I don’t know which direction to go,” he said.
“If we want to make an inclusive disaster risk reduction management programs, we have to be involved in the decision making process,” he said.
Abner Manlapaz, wheelchair user, the president of Life Haven, recalled an experience wherein he and other persons with disabilities emphasize need to involve in DRR programs were having a meeting at a hotel in Manila when they were approached by the hotel manager to excuse them from the earthquake drill but they insisted on joining.
Manlapaz said that it took a lot of time for the hotel staff to carry them to the evacuation area at the ground floor.
“In times of real disaster, evacuations must be done as soon as possible,” he said.
In addition, Manlapaz said there is also a need to improve facilities to make it accessible to persons with disabilities emphasize need to involve in DRR programs.
In institutionalizing disability inclusion in disaster risk reduction management in the Philippines, a three-day national conference on disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction and management with the theme of “Inclusion starts with I” started last Wednesday. The conference was initiated by the different persons with disabilities emphasize need to involve in DRR programs groups and local government units.
About 150 participants from all over the Philippines gathered at the Golden Prince Hotel for the three-day conference that tackled issues on disaster risk reduction management and Persons with disabilities emphasize need to involve in DRR programs.
As part of the activity, the signing of the national declaration on disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction and management was scheduled last
Friday after a series of panel discussions about the institutional mechanism for disability inclusion in disaster risk reduction, the multi-stakeholder efforts in enhancing inclusive local disaster preparedness and prevention, and the current initiatives on disability inclusion by the DPOs.