US Ambassador Kim inspired by PWDs in Baguio


BAGUIO CITY — United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Y. Kim said he is delighted to see Persons with Disability (PWDs) getting involved in many activities including sports.

The envoy gave an inspirational talk to a hundred paralympics athletes during the Baguio Paralympics Summit today (July 21) at Prince Bernhard Gym, Saint Louis University, here.

“I really appreciate the strong commitment and involvement of the coaches and the PWDs into sports to further develop their skills,” Kim said.

The Baguio Paralympic Summit is a regional workshop that aims to develop paralympics sports and the Philippines as a tool for developing an inclusive society.

“I do agree with the theme of this paralympic summit because I’m a strong believer in making sure that all of us have the opportunity to excel and seeing the PWD athletes also inspires me,” Kim added.

Though he did not elaborate, he said that the United States government and the Philippines have broad cooperation and one of them is uplifting the morale and giving equal opportunity to the PWDs.

“With their strength, commitment and energy, I believe that they deserve equal treatment from the society. And I am truly honored to be with them today and to support them,” the ambassador said.

Participants in the summit include sport officials, PWD athletes, coaches and trainers. The event was held in partnership with Philippine Paralympian Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong.

Dumapong is an alumna of the U.S. Department of State Global Sports Mentoring Program, Saint Louis University and American Corner Baguio.

Other participants include the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the Philippine Paralympic Committee of the Philippines (PPC) and the Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled (PHILSPADA).

Dumapong, a power lifter and the first Filipino paralympic medalist in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Paragames, also gave her remarks where she said that the summit also encourages the abled-persons to take part and participate in the promotion of the paralympic games.

“This is a summit to help create awareness in the paralympic movement and also to encourage the able bodied to engage themselves in helping us promote the sport development to the PWDs because we cannot do it alone. We need the help of the able-bodied,” to advance the interest of those who are lacking in other things, she said.

“We all know that being into sports has a positive impact to the life of those who are engaged in sports. And this changes the life of even the able-bodied person,” Dumapong added.

She also thanked the ambassador for honoring the invitation. She hopes that with this summit, more PWDs will be encouraged to be involved in sports.

The event is part of the observance of the National Disability Prevention Month which culminates on July 23 of each year, the birthday of sublime paralytic Apolinario Mabini.

Proclamation 361 of former President Joseph Estrada was issued in recognition of the national interest to stimulate public awareness on the problems of disability, and encourage every citizen to take active responsibility in the upliftment of the economic and social conditions of the PWDs and encourage them to take pro-active roles in nation building.

This necessitates the re-affirmation of support by this government in partnership with the Pilipinong May Kapansanan Foundation, Inc., hand in hand with concerned agencies and other sectors of the community. Dionisio Dennis Jr./