Bohol Federation of Disabled Persons (BFDP)

The move to make Bohol public and private business establishments friendly to "differently-able" persons and compliant with applicable national law on accessibility gets to the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) and it takes a blind man to show the mayors the way.
   Bohol Federation of Disabled Persons (BFDP) president and sight impaired Mateo Quilas pointed to the Bohol mayors that a tourism destination, apart from being a wholesome experience for the normal tourist also needs to be friendly to the physically impaired as well.

   Quilas, an active advocate for the rights of the differently abled appealed for the physically challenged persons during the LMP bimonthly meeting in Inabanga town.

   The appeal was for the BFDP to partner with mayors in implementing the provisions of the accessibility law and press establishments to do the necessary changes before the local chief executives grant building and business permits and licenses.

   The appeal also came as differently abled persons oftentimes find it uncomfortable maneuvering their wheel chairs in narrow passages and unfriendly restrooms in public business establishments, Quilas stressed.

   The law provides a standard access ramp for customers in wheel-chairs, standard measures for hallways and places of general access, grab bars and special wider spaced restrooms so that differently-abled customers can easilly maneuver and access areas, Quilas clarified.

   "Living a life as differently abled is already hard, not being given the right afforded to them by law makes it even harder", Quilas explained in Cebuano.
   Quilas has also been multi-awarded for showing remarkable leadership skills and in organizing the differently abled persons in the towns to facilitate government supports for these persons.

   In his appeal, Quilas also asked mayors to initiate measures to make accessibility law a pre-requirement for granting building permits especially for establishments catering to the public.

   "Please help us make Bohol business establishments friendly for the disabled", Quilas said as he said not many establishments comply with the national law.

   Some establsihments do not make handicapped persons comfortable as wheel chairs could hadly negotiate narrow hallways in establishments. (rachiu/PIA)