by: Erwin Beleo
CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES - 12-year-old Justine Rivera impresses Mayor Dong Gualberto with his singing presentation.
A blind boy captivated the hearts of the audience when he sang his versions of Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” and Florante’s classic “Handog” during an assembly held at the Mayor’s Conference Room, City Hall, City of San Fernando on October 27, 2017.
Justine Rivera, who was born blind, currently lives in Barangay Namtutan with his Lola Emelita Rivera. This 12-year-old talented boy, together with his friends, has already performed in several school activities in his campus. He is set to prove that his disability will not hinder him from fulfilling his dream to become a renowned singer.
Rivera was one of the 28 children with disabilities (CWDs) who attended the assembly organized by the City Government with the efforts of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO). The assembly aims to address the well-being of CWDs in the City of San Fernando by providing them with financial assistance to further support their needs.
Mayor Hermenegildo Dong Gualberto admired these kids especially Rivera as he performed his singing presentation. He stated that, “these children have their own talents, let us help them nurture their potential so they can persevere in pursuing their own dreams in life.”
Mayor Dong Gualberto also added that he will ensure that these children will be offered with necessary services and benefits. The mayor also considers providing them with livelihood programs in the future.
After the gathering, Lola Emelita extended her deepest gratitude to Mayor Gualberto and the City Government for continuously supporting people who are in need. She also acknowledged the Department of Education (DepEd) for offering free Special Education program (SPED), and the teachers as well, for assisting Justine and other CWDs in their learning needs.
About P112,000.00 worth of financial aid, P 4,000.00 each beneficiary, was given as an annual education assistance to CWDs through the provision of Republic Act No. 7277 or Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.