By LEILANIE ADRIANO
LAOAG CITY—Ilocos Norte is the only province in Region I that has failed to comply with the law creating a provincial Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO), while only one out of its two cities and 21 towns has set up the office.
Priscilla Dada, the province’s Social Welfare and Development Officer and focal person for PWDs, said the local government has been dragging its feet in creating the PDAO, which is mandated by Republic Act 10070.
Even without a PDAO, the province has been funding and implementing PWD-initiated projects and programs, but a PDAO would make it easier for the local government to address their concerns, Dada said.
The law, passed in April 2010, ensures that programs for PWDs are implemented through the setting up of a PDAO in each province, city and town. It allows only fourth- to sixth-class towns to appoint a focal person or PWD Affairs Officer in lieu of PDAO in the meantime if they have budget constraints. Ilocos Norte has nine fourth-to sixth-class towns.