MANILA -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Tuesday, June 13, assured that concerned government agencies are working hand in hand to assure that tourism establishments are sensitive to the needs of both the elderly and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
“There’s a constant effort to make us really PWD friendly,” DOT Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Frederick Alegre told the Philippine News Agency in an interview.
Alegre made this remark a day after the DOT released its new campaign advertisement “Sights” which featured a blind, elderly retiree from Japan enjoying his stay in various destinations the Philippines.
“The ad does put focus on that and really it’s to show that we take care of them (elderly, PWDs) here. We want to keep doing an effort to upgrade the way we take care of them,” Alegre said.
He acknowledged that although the Philippines was behind its Asian neighbors in terms of PWD-friendly facilities, there are several Philippine establishments that comply with world-class standards.
“Nowadays, a local government unit does not issue (permits) if you don’t have a ramp to entry for the wheelchair. The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is doing its job, we just have to be able to enforce it better,” he added.
He said that the DOT is coordinating with the Departments of Interior and Local Government, Transportation and Social Welfare and Development to assure that tourism establishments are indeed PWD-friendly.
Citing data from the Philippine Retirement Authority, Alegre said that there are around 27,000 foreign retirees from 107 countries that have chosen, and lived in the Philippines through the Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV).
“We know that there is a market of retirees who want to come to the Philippines,” the tourism official said. -- PNA