Ayala Land leads the way in creating inclusive spaces for Persons with Disabilities
Written by: Amy R. Remo
Ayala Land has long been taking significant steps to make its developments truly accessible.
Besides ensuring access to major thoroughfares and providing transport hubs in its communities, Ayala Land has also undertaken measures to provide safe and inclusive spaces for the differently-abled or persons with disabilities (PWDs).
Recognizing the need for equal access to public spaces, Ayala Land has invested in the installation of ramps, elevators, restrooms and other assistive technologies for PWDs across all its developments. In its malls, for instance, there are priority parking spaces, reserved seating areas, and wheelchairs for rent to ensure comfort and convenience for the differently-abled.
On top of these, Ayala Land also hosts activities, programs and campaigns that would help empower, provide opportunities and seamlessly integrate PWDs into the society.
It’s thus only fitting that such noble efforts, all geared towards inclusion, empowerment and equality, would be recognized. Seventeen properties being managed by Ayala Property
Management Corp. (APMC), a subsidiary of Ayala Land Inc., were honored at the recently held 30th Apolinario Mabini Awards, which recognizes individuals, groups, and establishments that have made outstanding contributions and have rendered exceptional service to persons with disabilities (PWDs).
The Awards also acknowledged the achievements made in breaking barriers, championing the rights of PWDs, and creating a safe, conducive environment to encourage their full inclusion into the society. It was likewise meant to “promote wider recognition of disabled persons as self-respecting, self-reliant and productive members of society.”
This year, the awards were conferred by the Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled (PFRD) in the midst of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week, and were presented by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and his wife, Audrey Tan-Zubiri, as well as Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin.
APMC received nine bronze distinctions under the “Disability Friendly Establishments Awards”, which are granted to establishments with facilities and services fully accessible to PWDs, and which make their stay safer and more convenient.
Among the awardees were Avida Settings Lipa in Batangas; Solenad I Nuvali in Laguna; Circuit Corporate Center, One Ayala East Tower, One Ayala West Tower, Solaris One, and Alveo Financial Tower in Makati; Bonifacio High Street Central in Taguig City; and Cebu Technology Tower in Cebu City.
Eight APMC managed properties were likewise conferred “Special Awards”, which are given to establishments that are fully accessible to PWDs. These include Avida Southfield Settings Nuvali in Laguna; One Bonifacio High Street and Bonifacio High Street East in Taguig City; UP Ayalaland Technohub and Vertis North Corporate Center in Quezon City; Samsung Performing Arts Theater and Ayala Center Estate Association in Makati City; and Cebu IT Park in Cebu City.
Beyond the acknowledgment of its efforts, however, these accolades reflect Ayala Land’s continuing commitment to create an environment where the differently-abled can become fully productive members of the society as they are provided with equal opportunities in safe and inclusive spaces. Even within Ayala Land itself, such commitment is seen as the company supports diversity and equal opportunity in the workplace.
And these efforts are highly crucial considering Ayala Land’s massive footprint today: 49 estates nationwide, a range of residential projects across five brands, 1.4 million sqm of office spaces, 2.1 million sqm covering malls and retail areas, and 996 hectares of industrial parks.
APMC alone manages over 200 properties nationwide, ranging from residential buildings, malls, office buildings, parking facilities and estates encompassing more than 100 million sqm. Many of them are equipped with PWD-friendly facilities and PWD priority lanes for basic services. By ensuring that more and more of its communities, offices, malls, industrial parks and other spaces are inclusive, Ayala Land is able to equalize opportunities and empower more PWDs in the country. As of today, there are a total of 1.12 million registered PWDs, according to data from the website of the National Council on Disability Affairs.
But more clearly needs to be done. PWDs in the Philippines today continue to face numerous challenges given the lack of access to a great number of areas and of opportunities. But through the concerted efforts between the government and the private sector, including companies like Ayala Land, there may be hope after all that PWDs will see a future in which they are truly an integral part of the society.
Through its “Alagang Ayala Land” Program, plans will be in place to help empower and enable them to become productive members of their communities.