Last 7 July, an interagency consultative meeting, led by DOT Office of Industry Manpower Development (OIMD) Director Nelly Nita Dillera, was held to come up with a communication plan designed to ensure a barrier-free travel experience for persons with disabilities (PWDs).
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It was attended by representatives from the departments of public works and highways, social welfare and development, trade and industry, health, academe, private sector, and the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA).
According to Dillera, it is important that there is a coordination between the private and public sectors in order to provide better accessibility and reduce barriers for PWDs.
NCDA representative Carmen Reyes-Zubiaga, on the other hand, encouraged both the national government agencies (NGAs) and non-government organizations (NGOs) to invest more in accessibility for the country to become a preferred destination for PWDs.
The body also discussed challenges in providing barrier-free services such as the lack of awareness among stakeholders and the lack of appropriate trainings among service providers.
Moreover, they also focused on ways to create a non-handicapping environment through the implementation of national policies, adopted by the local government units (LGUs) and transformed into visible and tangible programs and services.
During a forum in Papua New Guinea last June, DOT Undersecretary Alma Rita Jimenez said that the Philippines is committed to an accessible and barrier-free tourism. She reiterated that DOT aims to promote a tourism industry that recognizes PWDs’ equal rights to tourism services and opportunities.
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