The 2010 Census of Population and Housing (CPH) conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) revealed that about 16 per one thousand or around 1.57 percent is differently-abled.
According to PSA, differently-abled or persons with disabilities (PWD) refer to individuals who have any restrictions or lack of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.
Moreover, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified disability in areas of impairment, activity limitations, and participation restriction.
In 2006, the United Nations (UN) spearheaded the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with the clear goal of promoting, protecting, and ensuring the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of the differently-abled.
The convention which abides by the principles of respect for inherent dignity and independence, non-discrimination, respect for difference, and equality, to name a few, has created enough signatories to support endeavors for an inclusive society.
In the Philippines, the rights of the differently-abled are protected by legal bases under the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability, Accessibility Law, Anti-Rape Law, and other aspects such as on health, employment, social insurance, and participation in political and public life.
In this context, the Technology Application and Promotion Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-TAPI) has granted financial assistance for the modeling of the foldable crutch system under the Industry-Based Invention Development (IBID) Program, one of the premier programs of DOST-TAPI for the development and initial commercialization of inventions.
The foldable crutch is an easy-to-carry, height-adjustable, and easy-to-expand technology for people who have difficulty supporting their weight, used as a walking aid especially for traveling in such reasons extending from injuries to disabilities.
“Being differently-abled since childhood, the foldable crutch brings so much convenience to those who are in constant transit because the crutch can be easily folded and carried to wherever they need to be,” said James Bryan Camacho, co-developer, beneficiary of IBID, and adoptor of the foldable crutch system.
The crutch technology was designed and developed by Camacho in collaboration with the Metals Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC) and was later filed for patenting through DOST-TAPI’s Intellectual Property Rights Assistance Program (IPRAP).
“We are honored to help Camacho fabricate the prototype of the clutch and improve the quality of living of our differently-abled Filipino brothers and sisters,” said Mechelle D. Balboa, Program Manager of IBID.
Camacho has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with DOST-TAPI through Atty. Marion Ivy D. Decena, Division Chief and Roberto R. Verzosa, Senior Science Research Specialist of DOST-TAPI’s Invention Development Division, and Atty. Israel Jacob Zaragoza of DOST-TAPI’s Legal Unit on 28 June 2018 in Bicutan, Taguig City.
The fabricated prototypes will be demonstrated at the Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, a non-stock, non-government organization providing services to orthopedically-challenged individuals.
DOST-TAPI S&T Media Service
Jund Rian A. Doringo