Baguio City dad pushes measure to penalize able-bodied persons using spaces for PWDs, SCs

BAGUIO CITY –City Councilor Leandro Yangot Jr. has proposed an ordinance seeking to penalize any person using the spaces provided for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and senior citizens (SCs) in all establishments in the city.

Under the proposed ordinance, any person found to have violated the pertinent provisions of the local legislative measure shall be penalized by a fine of PHP2,000 for the first offense, a fine of PHP3,000 for the second offense and a fine of PHP5,000 for the third offense.

The proposal tasks the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) of the City Mayor’s Office to establish a hotline that would receive complaints and reports of violation of the ordinance.

The POSD, the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) and other concerned agencies shall promulgate the necessary implementing rules and regulations for the proper implementation of the ordinance.

Batas Pambansa (BP) Bilang 344 or the Accessibility Law requires building owners, institutions, establishments and public utilities to install facilities and other devices for the benefit of the PWDs and the SCs.

Republic Act (RA) 9994 or the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act” provides additional privileges for the elderly by giving them priority and suitable lanes or spaces in lodging and business establishments and access to public transport.

Yangot said designated spaces for PWDs and SCs are being used by able-bodied persons, misrepresenting themselves as a PWD or a SC.

He said the local government unit (LGU) must ensure that all existing laws providing rights for the PWDs and SCs are strictly implemented.

Citing Section 16 of Republic Act (RA) 7610 or the “Local Government Code of 1991,” the LGU shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare.

The proposed ordinance was approved on first reading and referred to the appropriate committee for further study and recommendation. Jojo Lamaria/