DEPUTY Speaker and Las Piñas City Rep. Camille Villar has hailed the enactment of a law that effectively breaks down barriers facing persons with disabilities (PWDs) and makes learning inclusive for them.
Villar, one of the authors of Republic Act (RA) 11650 or “An Act Instituting a Policy of Inclusion and Services for Learners with Disabilities in Support of Inclusive Education”, said promoting the rights of learners with disabilities (LWDs) is important to ensure a brighter future for them.
“This is definitely a step forward in advancing the welfare of PWDs, particularly students, who now have access to free and mainstream education courtesy of a newly signed law. We must continuously work to ensure that we give them all available opportunities,” Villar pointed out.
Under RA 11650 which President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed into law last March 11 – the government, through the Department of Education (DepEd), is mandated to establish inclusive learning resource centers (ILRC) in all school districts nationwide.
ILRCs shall support LWDs in a manner that they could be included in regular schools in the least restrictive environment, provide school-based training for them, and ensure that they receive the appropriate services.
Existing special education centers or SPED (Special Education) shall be converted to and renamed ILRC.
The newly approved law also creates an Inter-Agency Coordinating Council for LWDs composed of heads of the DepEd, Health, Social Welfare, Public Works, Interior and Local Government, Labor, and Finance departments, as well as heads of the Technical Education agency, Commission on Higher Education, and National Council on Disability Affairs.
“Like many of us, children with disabilities deserve to fulfill their potential and do more. They need the necessary support from the government and other stakeholders in order that they will not be left behind,” Villar said.