Bohol buildings needs PWD access facilities

IT is still long way to go for tourist destination Bohol in terms of its buildings and tourism facilities.

Still lagging behind in vertical infrastructure especially for tourism services, the dream for Bohol to become a
wholesome tourism destination practically finds wanting if services and standards to this end is concerned.

With the few establishments set up, as far as compliance to accessibility laws, several of them are not
compliant yet, says a person with disability mobility advocate said.

Here, of the few public buildings and tourism establishments that are compliant, they also have access
facilities that are sub-standard.

This surfaced Thursday at the Kapihan sa PIA when the forum resource persons took to the question: what
happens when a tourist who visits Bohol is a person with disability (PWD)?

Here, the leader of a strong Bohol Federation of Disabled Persons (BFDP) said the decade long advocacy to
bring awareness to get the law implemented and allow access to PWDs has not been that much, especially in
Bohol.

Mateo Quilas, a blind man however said he is happy that some establishments here have shown best efforts in
compliance.

The Kapihan segment, which was aired live over DyTR tackled the law enhancing the mobility of disabled
persons by requiring certain buildings, institutions, establishments and public utilities to install facilities and
other devices to ensure access of PWDs.

Some best efforts however prove to be only for compliance.

There are buildings and establishments with the access ramps but these are so steep that a PWD on a wheel-
chair can not negotiate it by himself, elaborates Haidee Cubarol, a physical therapist and Bohol Stimulation
and Therapeutic and Activity Center chief.

Cubarol, whose group has been giving therapies to indigent children with disabilities hinted that the law is
specific on enhancing the mobility of PWDs by putting up standard ramps with the right slopes, sidewalks with
railings and grab bars as well as custom amenities at specialized rest rooms for PWDS.

Even alleyways, doors and facility design should be considerate of the PWD where the floor areas should allow
enough space wheel-chair to maneuver, the lavatories installed with lever type faucets and grab bars running
along the edges of the rest rooms, she cited the law.

Now with the biggest investments still in tourism, both forum resource persons hope that the town planning
and development officers as well as engineers are keener in getting true to the intent of the law and make
thus Bohol a better place for tourists, be he able or with disability. (racPIABohol)

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