Posts Tagged ‘Philippine Daily Inquirer’

This is a repost from the Philippine Daily Inquirer written by Ador Vincent Mayol of Cebu Daily News.

7:20 am | Thursday, March 21st, 2013

A restaurant in Cebu City is facing charges after some waiters allegedly made fun of five deaf-mute customers and refused to give them a discount.

The five customers yesterday went to the Cebu City Prosecutors’ Office to file a complaint against Boosog Lasang Pinoy Resto for violating Republic Act 9442 or the law amending the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.

Spouses Joseph Gregory and Roslyn Onglatco, Almira Pacubas, Alyssa Rose Binghay, and Glenda Casa, however, were asked to submit a sworn-affidavit to the City Prosecutors’ Office, instead of a simple statement.

They are set to return to the prosecutors’ office today to file the complaint.

Lawyer Ralph Sevilla of Boosog Lasang Pinoy Resto earlier issued an apology to the five deaf-mute customers during a conciliation meeting at the barangay Kasambagan hall.

But that wasn’t enough to satisfy the complainants.

“We came up with certain things to pacify them. But they can go and file a case,” Sevilla said.

According to the complainants, they went last March 9 to Boosog Lasang Pinoy Resto on g Juan Luna Street in Cebu City.

Upon entering the restaurant, they noticed that one of the waiters was laughing and trying to immitate their hand gestures.

“When we saw those gestures, we felt insulted and hurt,” they said.

After eating, they asked for the bill and sought a discount as provided by RA 9442.

The complainants also showed newspaper clippings about PWD discounts.

They were told that the restaurant was not giving discounts to persons with disabilities (PWD).

They ended up paying the full amount of P1,187.

Section 32 (a) of RA 9442 entitles PWDs to “at least twenty percent (20%) discount from all establishments relative to the utilization of all services in hotels and similar lodging establishments; restaurants and recreation centers for the exclusive use or enjoyment of persons with disability.”

Sevilla said the management tried to review footage of the restaurant’s closed circuit television (CCTV) but they didn’t see the employees making fun of the complainants.

“We didn’t see anything,” he said.

The five customers insist they were subjected to ridicule and that the CCTV footage could have been edited.

“We were the ones who were there,” the complainants said through an interpreter.

Please ignore the “Deaf-Mute” tag. The article writer is not fully aware of the term usage. View the original article here.

Once in a while, I try to veer away from my main topic which is all about Deaf. This is one of them. I’d like to share with you readers, especially bloggers, what kind of threats our readers can get from reading our blogs! I posted here an article from Philippine Daily Inquirer. READERS, BEWARE! 🙂

MANILA, Philippines — Blogs are the riskiest websites to visit because these are the biggest sources of viruses on the Internet, according to antivirus firm Sophos. As end-users become more aware about viruses via email, hackers are instead embedding viruses into websites that threaten unsuspecting visitors.

On average, Sophos detected more than 16, 000 malicious web pages every day — or one every five seconds — during the first six months of 2008. This is three times faster than last year’s figures. In its report, Sophos noted that the number one host for malware on the Web is Blogger, which allows users to create blogs for free (with URLs that end in “blogspot.com”). [Does WordPress carry the same threat? – mine]

Sophos estimates that blogs created on Blogger account for two percent of infected webpages. According to Sophos, hackers either set up malicious blogs using Blogger, or place comments into unsuspecting blogs that contain links to websites that contain viruses.

Visit the Philippine Daily Inquirer News link

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Fr. Fernando Suarez - Photo courtesy of fatherfernando.com

Fr. Fernando Suarez - Photo courtesy of fatherfernando.com

While I was having a quick scan on my favorite online newspaper, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, I chanced upon this news item entitled “Stage set for RP as global healing center”.

Our country, being a former Spanish colony, is a devout Catholic. Spiritual healers and so called “quack doctors” are a dime-a-dozen here. Then there are healing priests. Fr. Fernando Suarez, is one of those. He became popular in the country because he was able to heal the blind, deaf, mute and lame. There are series of “miraculous signs” that happened while he is around and for sure thousands of people believed in him. Whenever he preaches, throngs of devotees flock to the church where he is.

In his homilies, Suarez always cites the lack of prayer, the no-longer-having-time-for-the-Lord attitude, as the essential ingredients behind His disappointment (manifested in rampant terminal ailments such as cancer) and His joy when people return to His fold (manifested in rampant healing). He uses Suarez’s touch as an instrument for these messages, which are as old as those in Genesis and Exodus.

Fr. Fernando Suarez CC, was born in the Province of Batangas in 1967. After spending much of his life living and working in the Philippines, with a Chemical Engineering degree, he came to Winnipeg, Canada in 1995. In Canada, he continued to pursue his desire to follow the Lord as a Roman Catholic Priest, something he strongly felt God was calling him to become. In 1997 he joined the Companions of the Cross religious community of priests and seminarians, founded by Rev. Robert Bedard in 1985 in Ottawa, Canada, and Fr. Fernando was ordained to the priesthood in 2002.

I have not seen him personally nor have I seen him heal the deaf and blind. I also haven’t met any deaf or blind who can prove that they were healed through his ministry. But there was this recurring TV commercial late in the evening where he was able to partially heal a blind boy. His parents were interviewed and testified about the miracle through Fr. Suarez’s touch. Well, the Bible states that Jesus was able to make the blind see and the deaf hear. I believe that because I’m a born-again Christian. But going back to my question, are deaf people really in need of healing?

To know more about Fr. Suarez and seek Divine healing, visit his official website at: http://www.fatherfernando.com

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Cebu Pacific Logo with Discrimination of Disability
Guys, this one is really for the books. I can also categorize this situation under the “Only in the Philippines” tag and presumably a classic case of sheer ignorance.

Three days ago, after I attended the meeting at the Department of Foreign Affairs (This is another story.), a nice lady from Autism Society of the Philippines (Sorry, her name slipped my mind.) mentioned about the incident involving deaf persons and was printed in Philippine Daily Inquirer. Although I heard about it from the deaf group, I still want to know more. After a few searches, I got hold of the Opinion Article of Mr. Raul Pangalangan posted only last April 11.

He explained about Cebu Pacific Airlines refusing to board ten deaf passengers on a flight to the world renowned Boracay Island. All ten were already seated inside the plane, when the crew told them to disembark, citing their policy that blind and deaf passengers had to be properly accompanied in order to be treated as regular passengers. If unaccompanied, “he/she may be accepted for carriage provided he/she can take care of himself/herself on the ground and in-flight.

The irony was that four members of the group were visiting Americans who had flown all the way to the Philippines on their own, without a hitch, and had demonstrably met the internationally stringent standards of other airlines. They had come to attend the grand centennial of the Philippine School for the Deaf, the oldest such school in the Philippines and Asia. They hadn’t been apprised of the policy in advance. Worst of all, though they were promised a full refund, what they received was short by Php590 (USD13), the agent’s service fee apparently. (In the end, only two of the passengers were allowed to board.)

Now, where in heaven’s vast expanse did they ever thought of this ridiculous policy? Granted that a deaf person belongs to the disabled sector. However, this smacks against the very basic human rights (disabled or not) of freedom to travel which is guaranteed by our constitution.

Let me enumerate why this is an absolutely absurd policy and their situation merits exclusion.

  1. Ignorance of disability. A deaf person is not a dumb person. They do not ALWAYS need a companion to interpret for them. They can read instructions and understand stewardess’ demonstration on basic safety rules and what to do in case of emergency. In other words, THEY CAN TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES. In the first place, why were they allowed to board a plane all the way from USA if they cannot comprehend common directions?
  2. Equal treatment is not cost-free. Additional companion entails costs. I remember Philippine Airlines give 50% discounts ONLY to caregivers of disabled passenger but not all airline companies. Republic Act 7277 otherwise known as “Magna Carta for the Disabled Persons” only accords 20% transport discount for PWD on land travels although the new Republic Act 9442 covers all means of travel. Victory Liner Bus Company never provide discounts to PWDs. Why do you hassle yourself by paying for an escort if you can survive on your own?
  3. This policy humiliates the PWD and their right for independent living. Many senior citizens travel alone. Technology made a blind person navigate through the horrible streets of Calcutta, India only with an aid of his global positioning system (GPS) device. It has been known worldwide that deaf people are well-traveled group. Why can’t they travel unconstrained?
  4. Preferential treatments at times lead to a subtle form of discrimination. Wheelchaired people are first to board the plane but are always last to disembark. If they are often seated in front and don’t impede human traffic, why are they last to get off?  How often do we see especially marked “Disabled Seats” in Light Rail Transit (LRT) occupied by other non-disabled people?
  5. Right of inclusion. We want disabled people to be productive citizens in our country. We don’t want them to depend on dole outs and welfare from anyone. Traveling is one way of showing them that they are “one of us”. I remember an insulting suggestion made by a popular Metro Manila government official saying that, “Wheelchaired people must not roam around the streets because it’s dangerous for them. They should always stay at home where they are safe.” Now this comment is way too much. They are not prisoners or are not under house-arrest. Why can’t they travel?

I have always been an admirer of Cebu Pacific because they are true to their commitment of delivering low fare rates and always on time motto. But this is one area where Persons With Disabilities can cry foul and in direct violation of their human dignity.

It’s a pity because Deaf communities especially from affluent countries travel a lot. I’ve met many of them come to the Philippines from as far as UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland. They have the resources and often travel by groups. Our country is a great destination. I have interpreted more than a handful of weddings involving a foreigner and a Filipina deaf. Our deaf people use the basic American Sign Language as a form of communication, an internationally accepted language. We might even attract prospective visitors and increase our tourism revenue if we can tap this potential.

But with this dreadful and discriminating restriction, it is almost like saying, “Hey, we don’t want people like you! You have no room in our country.

This blog post also appear in Withnews:Internet News for the Disabled and the Poor.

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