LEGAZPI CITY, August 3 (PNA) -— The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Bicol called for greater awareness among the public on the plight of the blind and to recognize the “white cane” as symbol of the blind’s need for specific care.
DSWD-Bicol director Arnel Garcia said “August 1 was in fact declared White Cane Safety Day” by Republic Act 6759 that was passed in July 1989 during the term of former President Corazon Aquino.
“The declaration seeks acceptance of the ‘white cane’ as a symbol of the blind’s need for a particular form of help,” he said in a statement released to the media today.
Garcia said the white cane also serves to remind the individual of his duty to give care and respect to his “unfortunate brethren.”
He echoed the White Cane Act, which mandates the state to “promote and protect the physical, moral and social well-being of all handicapped persons, such as the blind and to undertake studies on specific causes of high percentage of blind people in the Philippines.”
Garcia cited that in April DSWD, released its profile of poor families based on the results of the “Listahanan” (National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction).
Listahanan’s second round of assessment that was done in 2015 showed “that there are 8,194 poor individuals in Bicol with disability and ‘functional disability’ on seeing,” he said.
“This is where the importance of the cane will come in, as the cane is an important assistive device,” he added.
Garcia added that proper use of the cane must thus be taught to the blind and even to the sighted guide. (PNA) LAP/GVR/SMT/CBD