Barredo seeks added assistance for persons with disabilities in time of COVID-19

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PPC-PHILSPADA president Mike Barredo. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Now that the 2020 Paralympic Games has been put off, the Philippine Paralympic Committee has urged Filipino para athletes and coaches to put premium on their health and shield themselves from the effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

PPC president Michael Barredo likewise expressed hope that local government units and the private sector could provide similar assistance to all persons with disabilities throughout the country.

“I would like to bring this to the attention of our government officials, LGUs and private sector to provide support as well as access to basic needs of all persons with disabilities, a very vulnerable sector of society,’’ said Barredo.

The national para athletes and coaches under the PPC are lucky since the Philippine Sports Commission has been taking care of their needs.

International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons announced the postponement of this year’s Paralympics, which was originally scheduled Aug. 25-Sept. 6 in Tokyo, Japan.

News of rescheduling the Paralympics for next year came simultaneously when the International Olympic Committee announced the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday night.

“This is unprecedented. Everything is put on hold so that everyone can focus on their health, family’s well being, and help each other to combat and finally overcome Covid-19,’’ said Barredo.

Resetting the Paralympics came a week after the Asean Para Sports Federation tentatively moved the 10th Asean Para Games that the Philippines will host to Oct. 3 to 9 with conditions that the pandemic is under control.

“We are faced with the reality that the coronavirus is here and with it, the uncertainty of what the future holds for us, the Para Games, and the entire community,’’ said Barredo in a letter to Filipino para athletes and coaches.

“While we are uncertain what the future holds, what is certain is that with our unstoppable spirit, we will face this challenge and meet it head on and never give up,’’ added Barredo.

Swimmer Ernie Gawilan was the first Filipino to qualify in the 2020 Paralympics while bronze medalists Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta (powerlifting) and Josephine Medina (table tennis) are also expected to qualify. INQ

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