PIKIT, NORTH COTABATO — In observance of the 43rd National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week, a total of 1,240 indigent Persons With Disability (PWDs) residing in the clusters of the Bangsamoro Special Geographic Area (SGA) in Kabacan, Carmen, and Pikit, North Cotabato received PhP 6,000 from the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) on 21-23 July 2021.


Of the 1,240 indigent PWDs, 150 were from Kabacan, 236 were from Carmen, 835 were from Pikit, and 19 were from Aleosan.


The cash assistance was lodged under the “Kalinga Para sa May Kapansanan Program”,  one of the banner programs of MSSD that recognizes the social protection and rights of PWDs specially the disadvantaged and underprivileged sectors. The cash assistance is provided to support their daily subsistence, medicines, and other needs thereby uplifting their living conditions.


The Kalinga Para sa May Kapansanan Program is the first in the Philippine government which extends cash subsidy to indigent PWDs where MSSD has pioneered and launched in 2020.


The cash payout will continue in BARMM SGA this week to support the  267 PWDs in Midsayap and 205 PWDs in Pigcawayan.


MSSD also started the release of assistive devices to indigent PWDs in BARMM SGA. Among the first beneficiaries who received assistive devices were the nine (9) beneficiaries in Pikit, North Cotabato whose cases were managed by the field social workers in which MSSD distributed four (4) wheelchairs, one (1) quadcane, one (1) cane, one (1) folding cane for blind, and one (1) crutches to them.


“MSSD has set up different programs for the PWDs as part of the comprehensive response of the Bangsamoro government to providing them social protection intervention. This will also help intensify the campaign for their health and economic empowerment,” said Sandra Macacua, MSSD’s Program Specialist for Older Persons and Persons With Disability (OPPWD) in her speech during the opening ceremony of NDPR Week.


Some of those MSSD’s programs and interventions mentioned by Macacua includes  provision of monthly stipend through the Kalinga Para May Kapansanan Program, capital for livelihood projects through the “Bangsamoro Sagip Kabuhayan Program”, and provision of assistive devices to indigent PWDs.


Johnny Uyag, 41 years old, a farmer and resident of Pikit, North Cotabato is one of the recipients of cash assistance. His son suffers from paralysis and a rare physical condition.  “Malaking tulong po talaga ito sa mga may kapansanan tulad ng anak ko para pambili ng mga gamot at pagkain nila. (This is really a big help to those who have disabilities like my son for their medicines and food.),” Uyag said, thanking MSSD for the cash assistance extended for his son.


Meanwhile, other BARMM provinces also began the simultaneous distribution of assistive devices to case managed PWD clients during the NDPR week. (Jidday Lucman, MSSD BARMM)