Heroes Hall, Malacañan Palace
29 September 2015
President Benigno S. Aquino III commended the significant contributions of different individuals, groups and agencies to the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) sector as he led the awarding ceremonies of the 28th Apolinario Mabini Awards held at the Heroes Hall in Malacañan Palace.
In his speech, the President pointed out that Mabini’s legacy is invaluable. The sublime paralytic, he said, represents the intelligence and commitment of the Filipino race as he used his sharp mind as weapon in strengthening the foundation of the country. Like Mabini, the awardees are much admired because of their efforts for the PWDs to be recognized as role models.
“Nagsisimula sa maliit na hakbang at kilos ng pagmamalasakit sa isa’t isa ang isinusulong nating malawakang transpormasyon. Habang tungkulin ng estadong pangalagaan ang kapakanan ng ating mga boss, hindi naman natin masasagad ang bunga ng ating mga inisyatiba kung wala tayong mga katuwang na katulad ninyo,” President Aquino said.
Among the Mabini Presidential Awardees are Randy Weisser (Special Award) who has been helping blind persons to develop their potentials and capabilities for 26 years now; and Engineer Darlito Palermo (Presidential Award) who is one of the first PWD youth leaders in Agdao, Davao City.
Annette Lee-Esparaz, co-author of Touch Books which is the first picture book for visually-impaired Filipino students, and the Philippine Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine, an institution that helped more than 250,000 PWDs, both got the Rehabilitation Volunteer of the Year award.
“Tulad ni Mabini, kayo, sampu ng iba pang indibiduwal, mga kasamahan sa media, mga lokal na pamahalaan at mga katuwang sa pribadong sector na pinarangalan natin sa araw na ito ay nagsisilbing tanglaw at inspirasyon sa marami nating kababayan. Kaya naman, sa ngalan ng bawat Pilipinong nabibigyang lakas ninyo, isang taos-pusong pasasalamat sa inyong lahat,” President Aquino added.
The Apolinario Mabini Awards was launched by the Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Inc. (PFRD) in 1974 during its silver anniversary to give recognition to PWDs, professionals and various institutions that rendered exceptional services for PWDs. It has been a major biennial program of the foundation since then.
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