By ELLEN T. TORDESILLAS
GOING the rounds in Facebook is a post by Candy Chan in Astig.Ph about a vehicle by a mayor that was parked in a slot reserved for Persons with Disabilities at Bay 4 of NAIA3.
When the security guard called the attention of the man who came out of the driver seat, he insolently replied, “Kausapin mo si Mayor (Talk to the Mayor.)
The incident happened more than two months ago, Dec. 19. We are re-telling the incident because we have not seen any report who was the mayor who violated the law, Republic Act No. 7277 known as the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities, and if he and his driver were made accountable for their misdeed. As related by Astig.Ph, complete with pictures, a certain HJ was waiting at MIAA Bay 5 when a black Toyota Fortuner with plate number VRB 202 marked Mayor parked right next to the sign that indicated the space was reserved for PWDs.
“After 3-5 minutes, a man from the driver side of the vehicle went out, moved the PWD signage to the side, and then proceeded to light a cigarette stick,” Chan related.
The security guard approached the man, presumed to be the driver and following was the exchange: Security Guard: Sir, sa inyo po ba itong kotse? Bawal po kasi waiting dito. Doon nalang po sa unahan. Driver: May sakit sa tuhod si mayor. SG: Sir, sa VIP parking nalang po sana kayo, Sir. I-coordinate natin. Driver (puffing a cigarette and frowning): Kausapin mo si mayor. SG: Sir,pasensya na po ginagawa ko lang po trabaho ko. Bawal po talaga waiting dito. Driver: Kausapin mo nga si mayor! (Turned his back ignoring the guard as he continued puffing his cigarette).
R.A. 7277, an Act providing for the rehabilitation, self-development and self-reliance of disabled person and their integration into the mainstream of society, provides that “
The State shall ensure the attainment of a barrier-free environment that will enable disabled persons to have access in public and private buildings and establishments and such other places mentioned in Batas Pambansa Bilang 344, otherwise known as the Accessibility Law.”
It further states that “The national and local government shall allocate funds for the provision of architectural or structural features for disabled persons in government buildings and facilities.”
The PWD parking slot in airports is in compliance with the implementing rules and regulations of the Accessibility Law which states “Accessible slots in parking areas shall be located as near as possible to ingress/egress spaces of the building or structure.”
Those found to have violated R.A No. 7277 for the first time shall be fined not less than pesos (P 50,000.00 but not exceeding P 100,000.00 or imprisonment of not less than six months but not more than two years, or both at the discretion of the court. For subsequent violations, the law states that the offender should be fined of not less than P 100,000.00 but P 200,000.00 or imprisonment for less than two years but not more than six years, or both at the discretion of the court.
The law further provides that “Any person who abuses the privileges granted herein shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than six months or a fine of not less than P5,000.00 but not more than P 50,000.00, or both, at the discretion of the court. Have “Mayor” and his driver been made accountable for their illegal act?