For couples who have been blessed with children, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing their individuality grow and flourish in society. However, in many cases, having children can be very difficult. Especially if you were born with or eventually acquired a disability. Depending on the financial situation of the parents, raising a child with a disability can be very expensive and often overwhelming for couples.
A United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) study on the costs of raising children with disabilities in the Philippines, published in September last year, provided policy makers with an idea of what many Filipino families are coping with and what steps need to be taken. provides very useful insight into taken to help them cope with their unique situation.
The study, conducted in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Australian Department of Aid, found that raising a child with a disability in the Philippines will cost 40 to 80 percent more than raising a child without a disability. was shown. This is mainly due to the extra cost of medical expenses considering the special needs of children with disabilities. In addition to this, the cost of education can be higher than necessary for families with non-disabled children.
The study estimated that there are approximately 325,000 children with disabilities nationwide. Estimates are based on the number of children with a disability identification card (PWD ID). She also noted that 1.27 million children with disabilities do not have her PWD ID. This means that one in five of her disabled children does not have her PWD ID card.
Under Republic Act 9442, introduced in 2007 by my father, former Senate Speaker Ed Angara, persons with disabilities have access to goods and services, including pharmaceuticals, domestic road, sea, air, restaurants, medical and dental services. entitled to a 20% discount. Encourage persons with disabilities to pursue primary, secondary, tertiary, tertiary, and vocational or technical education in both public and private schools through the provision of scholarships, grants, financial aid, subsidies, and other incentives. Educational support is also provided for .
Eligible beneficiaries must secure a PWD ID to take advantage of these benefits. Therefore, the sheer number of children with disabilities who do not have a PWD ID is something that must be addressed quickly.
Poor families clearly suffer the most in coping with the financial requirements of raising a child with a disability. Without the necessary interventions, children’s medical needs can easily be ignored, and hopes of rehabilitation, becoming productive members of society, or even long and productive lives are lost.
They are also very likely to drop out of school. There are about 4 million out-of-school youth (OSYs) in the country, and they drop out for a variety of reasons. However, about 50% of OSYs belong to families with incomes in the bottom 30% of the population, based on per capita income. Educational requirements are likely to be higher and more specialized for households with children with disabilities, so the costs are also greater than those borne by other children.
This is where the Department of Education’s Special Education (SPED) program plays a key role and has ensured that it will be funded this year as it has done with the National Budget in the past. Under the General Appropriations Act 2023, £580m has been allocated for his SPED. This amount has increased gradually each year from £107m in 2020 to £329.2m in 2021 and £560.2m in 2022.
Clearly more effort is needed to take into account all children with unregistered disabilities. This starts with raising awareness and enlisting the help of local authorities to find and register the number of eligible households and create a centralized database that can be accessed by central government agencies.
We will be meeting with various stakeholders in the coming months to see what we can do to address these issues. These kids easily slip through the cracks. This is something we shouldn’t let happen. Our laws and health systems must always be progressive and inclusive so that no one is left behind.
Email: [email protected]| | Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: @sonnyangara
Senator Sonny Angara has been in public office for 18 years, representing the lonely district of Aurora for 9 years and as a Senator for 9 years. He has authored, co-authored and sponsored over 330 of his laws. He is currently serving his second term in the Senate.
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