CATBALOGAN CITY- The Local Government of the city of Catbalogan held the forum on the programs and services for Persons with Disabilities last July 19,;2018 headed by the Catbalogan City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) and Catbalogan Persons with Disabilities Federation in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry DTI-Samar, Philippine Health Authority (PhilHealth) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

CSWDO Head Nida Aroza said that the city government of Catbalogan supports the Persons with Disabilities sector for the implementation of services and activities for the promotion of the welfare of Persons with Disabilities.

Negosyo Center Business Counselor Carmina Laurilla of DTI-Samar said that they can assist in the development of the small and medium enterprises particularly Persons with Disabilities with small business by providing trainings and seminars and the conduct of consumer welfare education programs and in terms of product enhancement by product packaging and labeling to make the product more presentable to the costumer and also give a financial assistance with the office assessment under the Bottom-Up-Budgeting Program.

Catbalogan PhilHealth Office Head Melvin Zaballa said that persons with permanent disability is an automatic dependent of the member of PhilHealth. Zaballa stressed that PhilHealth helps in the payment in the hospital facility with the corresponding packages of services for Persons with Disabilities.

Alejo Labrador Jr., Labor and Employment Officer II of DOLE RO8 Samar Field Office said that they are providing livelihood grant for Persons with Disabilities from the Pangkabuhayan Programs and provide employment through job fairs in partnership with the different agencies.

Helen Robine, 51, from Barangay 06 Poblacion of Catbalogan said that it is a privilege for them provided that there are programs of the government agencies that are intended for them. Meanwhile, Jeanette Leaving, 34, from Barangay 09 Tumalistis of Catbalogan said that even though they have disability, they have skills and talents that they can use in earning income and can also get into business and can work as well.

The Local Government of Catbalogan initiates this forum for PWDs for them to feel and act as part of the mainstream of the society. This forum is part of the celebration of the 40th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week in the city of Catbalogan.