February 12, 2024

Children with disabilities (CWDs), especially those living in poor and remote communities, can now have access to free occupational, physical, and speech therapy services through teletherapy.

This, after the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Rehabilitation and Empowerment of Adults and Children with Handicap Foundation Inc. (REACH Foundation) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at providing assistance to CWDs through teletherapy.

Teletherapy is any remote therapy that uses technology to help the therapist and patient communicate using the phone, videoconferencing, and other online platforms.

DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos said the partnership is a sustainable way to help CWDs and their families get the support they need.

“May bayad ba ito? Meron. Anong bayad? ‘Yung magulang dadalhin ang anak niya, iti-therapy at tuturuan ang magulang. Pag-uwi nila, uulit-ulitin sa bahay nila,” he said.

“Ang bayad dun ay yung susunod na batch, yung magulang na iyon, ia-assist yung susunod na magulang. It’s moving forward,” Abalos elaborated.

“Kung makikita niyo, it’s very sustainable. And it’s not only intervention of the young children, but empowering also the parents,” he continued.

Abalos likewise expressed his gratitude to REACH Foundation for being a long-time partner organization of the DILG in helping CWDs and their families.

“These are our heroes. Our experience should be shared all over the country and, of course, what REACH is doing.”

He added they will explore the possibility of including the care and support being provided by LGUs to CWDs as one of the assessment points in handing out DILG’s Seal of Good Local Governance award.

REACH Foundation President Prof. Abelardo “Archie” Apollo I. David, Jr. said that teletherapy is an innovative approach to therapy that lets CWDs receive needed care through a secure video connection.

He pointed out that there are approximately 270,000 CWDs, or one child under 15 years old, for every five PWDs in the Philippines.

REACH Foundation is a non-stock, non-profit organization established in 2005 in response to the need for adequate and appropriate rehabilitation services for less privileged PWDs.

Original Article at: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/news/DILG-REACH-Foundation-ink-accord-to-help-physically-challenged-kids-/NC-2024-1027