Search is On for 2011 Apolinario Mabini Awards

August 31, 2010

The Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled (PFRD) Inc., has launched its search for the 2011 Apolinario Mabini Awards with culmination rites slated in July 2011. This event was named after the Sublime Paralytic Apolinario Mabini, whose disability has not stopped him to become a national icon and creative genius of the Philippine Revolution.

The Apolinario Mabini Awards aims to recognize individual persons with disabilities (PWDs), groups, organizations and professionals who have made remarkable marks in their chosen fields or have rendered outstanding services with impact on citizens with disabilities on a national scale.

The different categories that are up for grabs are as follows:

1. Disabled Filipino of the Year;
2. Disabled Group of the Year;
3. Employer of the Year;
4. Disabled-Friendly Establishment;
5. Local Government Unit of the Year;
6. Rehabilitation Volunteer of the Year;
7. Mabini Presidential Award; and
8. Media Advocate of the Year- this is a new category for personalities/groups/institutions in the tri-media who have made significant advocacy for the rights and welfare of PWDs. This is in conjunction with the “UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UN CRPD).

Interested parties can get nomination forms at PFRD, which can be contacted for details at telephone number 725-0093 or through their email address nova@pfrd.org.ph.

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NCDA Endorses a PWD Rights Advocate to the UN Committee on the Rights of PWDs

August 27, 2010

A person with disability has been endorsed by the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) and consequently nominated by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) as the Philippine representative to the “Third Session of the United Nations Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’ (UN-CRPD) slated on September 1-3 this year in New York, USA.

picture of Mr. Lauro L. Purcil
picture of Mr. Lauro L. Purcil

Mrs. Rosie Lovely T. Romulo, NCDA Chairperson, personally endorsed the nomination of Mr. Lauro D. Purcil, Jr. to the DFA, from among other local contenders who formally signified interest to participate as a nominee for a slot in the “UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”. Referred to as ‘the Committee’’, this body is tasked to monitor the member states’ implementation of the Convention. If Mr. Purcil wins his bid in the UN, he will be among the 18 experts/members of the Committee. As called for in the Convention’s Article 34, the Committee started with 12 experts at the time of its entry into force in 2008. This membership shall increase by six (6), attaining a maximum number of 18 members, which is the UN Thirsd Session’s agenda.

Mr. Purcil is a visually cum speech impaired person currently working at the Special Education (SPED) Division of the Bureau of the Elementary Education, Department of Education as Education Program Specialist I. Concurrently, he serves as the Director of the Education, Training and Research Bureau of Alyansa ng May Kapansanang Pinoy, Inc. (AKAP-PINOY), a national organization of persons with cross disabilities. His nomination to the UN was endorsed by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to represent the Philippines which is among the 87-UN member countries which ratified the UN-CRPD. NCDA submitted his endorsement on July 16, 2010, way ahead of the deadline set by the United Nations.

As the government’s focal agency on disability matters, NCDA adheres to the principles of rights-based approach among persons with disabilities to make them more independent on an equal basis with other members of society, as provided for under the UN-CRPD. More importantly, it religiously acts in accordance with its mandate prescribed under Executive Order No. 709 issued on February 26, 2008, which accords dignity and respect to persons with disabilities in the country, following its obligations under existing human rights treaties.

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NCDA Posts Profiles from its Latest Publication on Disability Achievers

August 26, 2010

Journey Beyond Disability
Journey Beyond Disability

The Council has just completed its “Journey Beyond disability – Success Stories of a Disability Icon and Achievers “’ publication. It aims to launch the country’s evidence-sharing in line with the UN-Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’’ (CRPD). In particular, it top bills work excellence of 42 Filipino men and women with disabilities for starters, whose success stories have indelibly marked our country’s history and development.

This segment kicks off with a feature on our national icon, the ”Sublime Paralytic” and “”Brains of the Revolution” Apolinario M. Mabini.

The Magazine comes in six segments: 1) posthumous recognition of outstanding disability icon and achievers; 2) International Abilympics (Olympics of Work Skills of Persons with Disabilities) Champions; 3) GO-NEGOSYO PWD Awardees; 4) DOLE’s Best Practices of 3 Self-help Groups of PWDs from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao 5) Special Features ; and 6) AFS-YES Scholars.

Work excellence as its theme, this project is in collaboration with the Department of Labor and Employment, led by former Secretary Marianito D. Roque, and envisions to trigger a continuous recording of success stories and best practices in various disability fields.

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NCDA Inks Agreement with VSO- Bahaginan on Disability-inclusive Volunteering Overseas, August 10, 2010, VSO-B Office.

August 16, 2010

NCDA Inks Agreement with VSO- Bahaginan on “Disability-inclusive’’ Volunteering Overseas, August 10, 2010, VSO-B Office. From left: NCDA Project Development Officer Josephine Despi, TCD Chief Nelia R. De Jesus, NCDA OIC/Director Matt Lee, Jr., Dr. Grace Aguiling Dalisay, VSO-B Board of Trustees Chairperson, Executive Director Malou Juanito, Program Manager Maloy Tiongson and National Volunteering Program Manager Jay Ancheta.
NCDA Inks Agreement with VSO- Bahaginan on “Disability-inclusive’’ Volunteering Overseas, August 10, 2010, VSO-B Office. From left: NCDA Project Development Officer Josephine Despi, TCD Chief Nelia R. De Jesus, NCDA OIC/Director Matt Lee, Jr., Dr. Grace Aguiling Dalisay, VSO-B Board of Trustees Chairperson, Executive Director Malou Juanito, Program Manager Maloy Tiongson and National Volunteering Program Manager Jay Ancheta.

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Ability, not disAbility

August 11, 2010


AFS Iskolar na May “K”, Marlon Celso shares his AFS year in Michigan, USA as a goodwill ambassador AFS – YES scholar during the AFS Schooltura – An Intercultural Education Expo last July 24-26, 2010 at Glorietta 3 Mall, Makati City. Beside him is another PWD AFS Returnee Ms. Maria Adisa Nahil (3rd from right). Marlon and Adisa wowed the audience with their accomplishments notwithstanding their disabilities. Marlon is now call center supervisor due for another promotion, while Adisa is an RBI scholar and one of STI-Cubao’s achievers.

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PNoy’s SONA Reaches Thousands of Deaf Pinoys Nationwide!

August 9, 2010

NCDA lauds GMA7 for its a history making a streaming news on President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) with sign language interpretation, last June 26, 2010. The Council cheered with thousands of deaf viewers this country’s  first ever SONA, heard live  by thousands of deaf citizens through a sign language interpreter, thanks to GMA7’s  kapuso  network.

Mr. Jojo Esposa interpreting through sign language the State of the Nation's Address of President Noynoy Aquino
Mr. Jojo Esposa interpreting through sign language the State of the Nation's Address of President Noynoy Aquino

Excited MCCID Training Director and PWAG President Remberto “Jojo” Esposa Jr. tipped off the Council day before the President’s SONA, that GMA7 News tapped him to interpret the event, most awaited by every Filipino here and in many parts of the world. For the first time, deaf Pinoys, felt one with fellow Filipinos with and without disabilities everywhere in the world, the same great pride over the new President’s humble but noble pronouncements. Loud and clear through the interpreter, they too applauded his marching orders to ban undue use of “wang wangs” (sirens) and his call to fight corruption in his inaugural speech. Most of all, his “Kayo ang Boss ko” (You, the Filipino people, are my Boss), got the biggest public cheer of all.

P-noy's SONA with sign language inset.
P-noy's SONA with sign language inset.

Mr. Esposa, is a member of the NCDA SubCommittee on ICT and President of the Philippine Web Accessibility Group (PWAG), an online advocacy group created by NCDA from its workshop series on Web Accessibilty, in 2005. As Training Director of the Manila Christian Computer Institute for the Deaf, he has the interest of deaf Filipinos nationwide, and was obviously the best man for the milestone job.

Ms. Myrna Medrano interviewed on the impact of SONA to her and other deaf persons
Ms. Myrna Medrano interviewed on the impact of SONA to her and other deaf persons

No less than deaf artist/advocate Ms.Myra Medrano also interviewed on the same news, confirmed the impact of the interpreted SONA on her, and on thousands like her, who for the very first time, felt attuned with millions of Filipino viewers.

This brings to mind, DOJ’s Secretary Leila de Lima’s most applauded line at the Opening of the “32nd National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week last July 17, 2010 in Sky Dome SM City. And we quote “ Justice for All would not be possible, without Justice for Persons with Disabilities!”. In the July 26 SONA, there was indeed a unified feeling of a new hope for every Filipino, when the language barrier was knocked down.

NCDA salutes GMA7 and those who pitched in, to make our new President’s SONA a “world hour” for every Filipino, here and in many parts of the world.

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A Joint Circular on Web Accessibility Passed

August 9, 2010

At the  Web Accessibility Forum launched by the NCDA SubCommittee on ICT last July 20, 2010, National Computer Center Information Technology Officer Angelita Nicolas announced the issuance of an NCDA-NCC Joint Circular No.1 Series of 2010, enjoining all government instrumentalities concerned, to implement accessible website design using the technical guidelines recommended by the Web Design Accessibility Recommendation (WDAR) Checkpoints of the PWAG.

DOTC Architect Morales represents Sub-Committee on ICT in awarding NCC IT Officer Angelita Nicolas for sharing NCC initiatives on disability and facilitating issuance of NCDA-NCC Joint Circular on Web Accessiblity Compliance
DOTC Architect Morales represents Sub-Committee on ICT in awarding NCC IT Officer Angelita Nicolas for sharing NCC initiatives on disability and facilitating issuance of NCDA-NCC Joint Circular on Web Accessiblity Compliance

PWAG or the Philippine Web Accessibility Group, is a non-profit advocacy group of Filipino web designers organized by the Council after its web accessibility workshop series from 2004-to 2007. Tasked by NCDA to monitor compliance by participating GO/NGOs through an NCDA Board Resolution, PWAG reported that only 11 GOs complied, compared to triple number in NGOs, which greatly concerns the sector.

To address this low compliance, the SubCommittee on ICT chaired by he Department of Transportation and Communications pooled resources to hold the forum for NCDA member agencies, in time for the NDPR Week. Forum Resource Persons include PWAG President Remberto Jojo Esposa Jr., ATRIEV Executive Director Antonio Llanes, Jr. and Web Designer Rene Orense. To ensure full compliance in his Department, being a member of the SubCommittee, DOTC Representative Architect Rizal Morales would soon have a similar forum exclusively for all his Department bureaus.

Inspirational messages from NCC Managing Director Juliana Sudario, Philippine DAISY Network President Lauro Purcil, DOTC Architect Rizal Morales and NCDA OIC Matt Lee, Jr. jointly urged the participants to adopt web accessibility to create digital opportunities for all, including PWDs, from the potential offered by ICTs for development.
See full text of the Joint Circular.

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AFS-YES Scholars with Disabilities Join in the Screening of 14 Aspirants

August 3, 2010

AFS Scholars
AFS Scholars

Returning PWD scholars led the screening of 14 hopefuls for school year 2011-2012 last June 25, 2010 hosted by NCDA. AFS Philippines Program Manager Miss Tisha Lee Eduave, in tandem with NCDA Project Evaluation Officer Fatima Garon, gave returnees Carla dela Cruz (batch 1) and Maria Adisa Nahil (batch 3) full backup as interview panelists. Qualified contenders will live with foster parents and study under the AFS exchange student program for one year in America.

In a meeting earlier, AFS Philippines officials Ms. Bonnie B. Guerra and Ms. Elizabeth Eduave, welcomed the request of PWD AFS-YES returnees to actively take part in the screening of PWD contenders. This led to a whole day workshop to brief returnees on the scoring system, as a prelude to their actual screening the next day, of 14 applicants from Metro Manila and nearby regions. As the PWD returnees’ leader Marlon Celso said, “Who could best choose the PWD bets with the x-factor, but their fellow PWDs returning scholar themselves?”

The screening happened in 2 parts, 1st, the panel interview of individual applicants, followed by a cultural talent show by groups. For this, the students were divided into 2 teams. Team A composed of 9 deaf students gave a presentation depicting the Filipinos’ religious’ customs, Team B made up of 4 visually impaired and 1 Cerebral Palsied student, gave a song rendition.

Participants of the AFS Scholarship Selection
Participants of the AFS Scholarship Selection

Since the opening of the program in 2004, AFS Philippines has sent 11 scholars with disabilities who left impressive marks in their various school placements in the US. For this school year 2010-2011, three scholars are set to leave the country for the school opening this fall. They are Jeremiah Bartolome, Jennessey Empang and Mark Kevin Carandang.

AFS-Philippines will release the results and notify the applicants as soon as the official results are available. For more details on the AFS-YES program, check out AFS Philippines website www.afs.ph

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YOUTH WITH DISABILITIES RECOGNIZED IN THE “PALIGSAHAN NG MAY ‘K’ SA KASAYSAYAN AT KULTURA NG PILIPINAS”

August 3, 2010

“Youth with disabilities today are potential modern-day heroes like Apolinario Mabini, the sublime paralytic who can lead in protecting their rights in various aspects of societal life,” thus the remarks of Mr. Mateo A. Lee, Jr., Officer-in-Charge of the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) before high school students with disabilities, teachers/trainors, and parents who participated in the recently concluded “Paligsahan ng May ‘K’ sa Kasaysayan at Kultura” held last July 20, 2010 in celebration of the 32nd National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week.

Mr. Lee, who serves as the inspirational speaker, underscored the importance of such competition in enhancing the intellects and various talents and skills of youth with disabilities. He also said that the NCDA will continue to conduct similar undertakings to develop more persons with disabilities as productive members of the society.

Ezekiel S. Gerona of Quirino High School, Quezon City; Angelita Abenojar of Philippine National School for the Blind, Pasay City and Irish Charles Eden A. Satorre of Jose Fabella Memorial School, Mandaluyong CIty emerged as top winners after three rounds (easy, average, and difficult) of competition. Each received P5,000.00 cash prize from NCDA and Certificates and various tokens from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and SM SuperMalls.

The other major winners include Louis Christian B. Decara, Mark Kevin Carandang, Raven Ralph Regala, Adrian G. Rongalerios, Mylin de la Cruz, and Richard L. Lorida. They also received cash prizes and tokens from the Contest organizers and sponsors.

The Competition was jointly conducted by NCDA, NHCP, DepEd, DPWH, TESDA, DSWD, and other partner agencies. The Board of Judges was composed of Dr. Celestina P. Boncan, Philippine Historical Association (Chair); Mr. Rizalio R. Sanchez, NCDA (member); Arch. Veronica A. Dado, NHCP (member), and Ms. Chita Singayan, Special Education Division, Bureau of Elementary Education, DepEd (member).

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