Senatorial candidate and House Deputy Speaker Pia S. Cayetano, in partnership with the city government of Taguig, led the third Disability Sports Clinic and Competition, an annual sportsdevelopment program for the city’s differently-abled community.
The participants – including children and youth with hearing, speech, orthopedic, and learning disabilities – were given the opportunity to learn different sports, such as table tennis, futsal,basketball, volleyball, chess, and darts.
“Ang paniniwala ko talaga is that sports enables people, especially children. It embeds in their minds the idea that, ‘I can do more, I can do better,’ and so I always want to ensure that even those with disabilities would have that opportunity,” the congresswoman and known sports advocate explained.
She added that the annual sports project opens doors for persons with disabilities (PWDs) to learn new skills and discover their athletic and physical talents.
“I hope and pray that this activity will embolden them to try to achieve more, and not to be scared of any limitations,” said Cayetano, author of Republic Act 10070, which mandates the establishment of a Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) in all local government units.
Cayetano is also the founder of Gabriel’s Symphony Foundation, which provides medical and financial assistance for sick and differently-abled children. The foundation was established inmemory of her own son, Gabriel Rene Cayetano Sebastian, who passed away in 2001 due to complications from a rare disease called Trisomy 13.
“It is the third year that we are doing this sports activity here in Taguig. But I’ve actually been doing this for around 17 to 18 years. Ang anak kong si Gabriel was born with multiple disabilities. In his memory, ‘yung foundation kong Gabriel’s Symphony has been doing [similar] activities all over the country,” Cayetano noted.
The congresswoman, who is now running for senator under the Nacionalista Party in the upcoming midterm polls, expressed her commitment to continue promoting the rights of PWDs and ensuring the enactment of inclusive programs to give them livelihood and job opportunities and better access to government services. #