ANTIPOLO City, Nov. 22, 2011—The local wheelchair industry is suffering from the influx of low-grade wheelchairs from China and other countries, as a result of the country’s entry into liberal trade, also known as globalization.
In a media briefing organized by the Foundation for a Sustainable Society (FSSI) last week, Joy Cevallos-Garcia, executive vice president and chief operations officer of the Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, Inc. (TWH), a group of persons with disability enterprising on creating wheelchairs and providing micro-credit for disadvantaged women, revealed that their production and distribution of wheelchairs had been affected by the influx of imported wheelchairs from China.
“The government should do something on this,” she said.
Fair trade as well as the imposition of rules on quality and standards are the possible solutions in the problem of low quality wheelchair imports.
“The government should also create meaningful procurement standards in order to prevent low quality products entering the local market and also to protect the local industries. Better if the Government should procure products needed for social services such as wheelchairs, from social entrepreneurs. Besides, it is what the Procurement Law requires,” she said.
Meanwhile, on December 3, TWH and other PWD support groups will have their “Access 2020: Race to Success” and the symbolic walk, run and roll, in SM Fairview, Quezon City to assert the rights of PWDs and also to press for programs for the PWDs that will enable them to reintegrate with the communities.
The event coincides with the International Day of Persons with Disability, Garcia said. [Noel Sales Barcelona/CBCPNews]