The compliance-appraisal on government-owned buildings specifically, the City Hall, SSS and Pag-ibig fund including but not limited to direct observation and documentary was made on January 4, 2010. This project was duly accomplished as part of the fulfillment of the requirements in EDUC 269 for MAED SpEd 1 with the absence of motives to ruin reputations of government officials or any entity concerned.
It was rather completed to bring to light the strengths and assets or the discrepancies and deficiencies of the buildings and its facilities. These government-owned buildings are for public use and therefore require utmost accessibility and safety for all individuals. However, it is both dismal and unfortunate to find out that the structure and facilities of the buildings failed to comply with the standard requirements as set by the Batas Pambansa Blg. 344.
This failure may have been slightly overlooked or utterly ignored but what is urgently important for now is that we do something to get to the bottom of this problem. I do not believe that lack of information may have been the cause; more so, the lack of budget. I think that the probable reason is our lack of concern and empathy for people with disabilities and their needs. Truth is, we have the tendency to neglect other people’s concerns when our comforts have been accordingly satisfied.
In our society, it is a sad fact that individuals with disability are often disregarded and their needs unmet. Moreover, they do not exert efforts to be heard and be justly provided but we, non-disabled people, have the ability and the obligation to empower them. It is our duty to assist them and their right to be accorded with basic services and simple pleasures in life.
But the question remains: What should we do about this problem? I consider this project as a first step in resolving the issue. We have to observe, to research and to be personally involved. Through adequate investigation and proper dissemination, we can bring about societal awareness and in the process, rekindle the spirit of concern and genuine compassion. This has to start now and it has to start with our selves. Obviously, one finger is insufficient to do the job. Collective effort is needed from all sectors to redirect government officials’ attention to the pressing concerns of people with disability.
The accessibility law should not remain written and left to age, rather, it should be alive as actively seen and taken advantaged by these individuals. Our government should set an example to private firms and other establishments that they are capable of abiding their own rules and regulations, otherwise, the law and its enforcing body will undoubtedly be subject to mockery and scorn.
Note: I fervently hope that this law is being implemented in full force not only in all government buildings but also in private establishments where public access is provided.