PWD couples tie the knot in a special ceremony in Taguig
September 22, 2022 - Thursday 11:09 AM by Jade BelenPhoto courtesy | I Love Taguig FB page
Eleven persons with disabilities (PWDs) couples tied the knot in a special Wednesday ceremony in Taguig City.
The Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office (PDAO) organized the mass wedding in coordination with the Civil Registry Office.
Pairs in love said their "I do's" at a Kasalang Bayan sponsored by the city government.
"We keep saying that love knows no boundaries. The set of couples who enlisted for this wedding ceremony prove just that," said Mayor Lani Cayetano who officiated the rites held at the Lakeshore Hall in Barangay Lower Bicutan.
The ceremonies carried the theme: “Sa Lungsod ng Taguig, Kasalang Bayan para sa mga Taong may Kapansanan, PWeDe!”
"More than sending the message that marrying for love is possible or pwede for our citizens with disabilities," added Mayor Lani, "we want to assure Taguigueno PWDs that they can enjoy the same rights as everybody else and that includes the right to establish a happy family and a loving home, and so much more."
The opportunity was provided to Taguigueño couples, at least one of whom is a PWD. In nine couples, one has a disability while the other does not. In three others, both members are registered PWDs.
One pair was Danilo Aquino, an orthopedic disability, and Mirasol Igna, 30. Gratitude overflowed during the event as the ceremony would help them legitimize their children.
“Hindi lang ito kasal naming mag-asawa. Ito rin ay para sa aming mga anak [This wedding is not only for us but for our children] ,” said Danilo, 46, from Brgy. Sta. Ana.
Antonio Feliciano, 28, living with a speech disability, married Jovelyn Binalla, 25, from Brgy. Bagumbayan. They also expressed their appreciation to the City for organizing the said ceremony.
“Hiling talaga naming maikasal kaya salamat sa Taguig dahil kinasal kami nang libre at walang bayad [We really wanted to get married tgat is why we are thankful to Taguig because we were abke to get married for free],” said the couple.
All the couples have lived together without the benefit of marriage for more than 5 years.
The oldest PWD to get married is Jonathan Pacheco, 51, and living with an orthopedic disability. He married Eva Lunas, with whom he had lived for 25 years. They are the longest-running couple in the bunch.
The program is also meant for those who need more funds to organize their ceremony. The City sponsored the rings, wine, cake, and venue, enabling the pairs to wed at no expense.
"This is not the first and only program benefitting PWDs in Taguig. They also receive benefits and privileges, which protect them against discrimination and empower them to live a full life," Cayetano added.
PWD organizations across the City's barangays enjoy monthly allowances ranging from P500 to P3,000. In addition, all registered PWDs also receive a birthday cash gift of P1,000.
Taguig conducts medical and dental missions and livelihood training directly, helping PWDs. In addition, job opportunities are opened at job fairs, with the local government unit doing its share of hiring PWDs.
Paralympians are sent to sporting events. In addition, children with special needs can get an education and physical therapy at Sentro Kalinga.
Fostering a culture of nondiscrimination, the city government also provides training for its workforce, ranging from disability sensitivity to Filipino sign language.
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