An umbrella organization of persons with disabilities (PWDs) and a 46-year-old institution caring for the differently abled have thrown their weight behind the reelection bid of Senator Sonny Angara, who pushed for laws championing the interests and welfare of the PWD community.
Citing Angara’s “invaluable work and dedication for the PWD community,” the Alyansa ng May Kapansanang Pinoy (AKAP-Pinoy) and the Tahanang Walang Hagdan Inc. (TWHI) issued separate statements endorsing the candidacy of the lawmaker from Aurora province who is running under the platform “Alagang Angara.”
“With Senator Angara as our partner in the Senate, we are confident that more measures will give persons with [PWDs] an opportunity to be empowered. Thus, we are proud to stand by Senator Sonny’s bid for re-election,” the AKAP-Pinoy and TWHI said.
AKAP-Pinoy is a federation of 450 organizations of and for PWDs in the country, while TWHI is a rehabilitation center founded in 1973 to provide skills training and special education to PWDs.
In championing PWDs, Angara was living up to the legacy of his father, the late Senate President Edgardo Angara, who created the law providing for 20 percent discount for goods and services to the PWD community.
This benefit was expanded by the younger Angara when he co-authored the laws exempting PWDs from payment of the 12-percent value-added tax and mandatory inclusion of PWDs in PhilHealth.
Angara also authored the law, which recognizes PWD athletes as national athletes and provides for bigger cash incentives for winning PWD athletes and their coaches.
For his outstanding contributions in advancing the rights and welfare of PWDs, Angara was conferred the Apolinario Mabini Award by the Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled.
The award was named after national hero Apolinario Mabini, also known as the “sublime paraplegic” for his outstanding contribution to the Philippine Revolution despite his disability.
Seven senators, including the top four leaders of the Senate, have also endorsed Angara’s candidacy. They are Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senators Loren Legarda, Joel Villanueva and Sherwin Gatchalian.
Angara is also being endorsed by Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP), the influential regional political party led by presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, and PDP-Laban, the political party of President Rodrigo Duterte.
His candidacy is also supported by several organizations, cause-oriented groups, political parties such as One Batangas; Confederation of Sugar Producers Associations Inc.; Filipinos for Peace, Justice and Progress Movement or FPJPM; Coalition of Services of the Elderly Inc.; Coop-NATCCO Party-list; and Davao-based District III Women Federation Inc.