The first nominee of the Pilipinos with Disabilities Partylist was in Bacolod City yesterday to lobby for support in the May 13 national and local elections.
Michael Barredo, a visually-impaired businessman and PWD nominee, said it is difficult for them to compete with other partylists but they believe they can reach out to people through their mass campaign in the social media.
Barredo, whose mother hails from Pulupandan and the cousin of singer-actress Lea Salonga and musical director Gerard Salonga, said that, based on the latest survey of the World Health Organization, the Philippines has 10 million disabled citizens.
Disabled persons include those who are visually-impaired, have difficulty in hearing, intellectually-disabled like those with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, retarded, autistic, and are paralyzed due to accidents and diseases, he said.
He said that, for 20 years, PWDs have no representation in Congress.
Barredo said they need 250,000 to 300,000 votes to get a seat in the House of Representatives; or 600,000 to 1 million votes for three representations, he added.
The group's platforms include lobbying for the full implementation of Republic Act 10070, or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons; establishment of a national Registry for PWDs in the country; and to have a decent and viable program that will provide opportunities for PWDs, he said.
Barredo lost his sight at 24 due to a car accident in 1974. He is a non-life insurance businessman for about 30 years now. *LTG