November 30, 2012

We are pleased to inform you that Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya of the Department of Transportation and Communications has granted the request of the Council to avail free rides at the trains of MRT 3, LRT and PNR for persons with disabilities on December 3, 2012 from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in observance of the “International Day of Persons with Disabilities”.  This privilege is consistent with DOTC Memorandum dated November 22, 2012.


To ensure availment of this privilege, commuting persons with disabilities can show their Transportation Discounted Fare Identification Card or the Discounted ID Cards for PWDs issued by the National Council on Disability Affairs and the local government units.


Please be guided accordingly.




(Original Signed)


Deputy Executive Director

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Background of the Celebration of the 2012 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, December 3

November 28, 2012



Over one billion people, or approximately 15 per cent of the world’s population, live with some form of disability.

Persons with disabilities, “the world’s largest minority”, often face barriers to participation in all aspects of society. Barriers can take a variety of forms, including those relating to the physical environment or to information and communications technology (ICT), or those resulting from legislation or policy, or from societal attitudes or discrimination. The result is that persons with disabilities do not have equal access to society or services, including education, employment, health care, transportation, political participation or justice.

Evidence and experience shows that when barriers to their inclusion are removed and persons with disabilities are empowered to participate fully in societal life, their entire community benefits. Barriers faced by persons with disabilities are, therefore, a detriment to society as a whole, and accessibility is necessary to achieve progress and development for all.

As the country realized in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) it recognizes that the existence of barriers constitutes a central component of disability. Under the Convention, disability is an evolving concept that “results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”

Accessibility and inclusion of persons with disabilities are fundamental rights recognized by the CRPD and are not only objectives, but also pre-requisites for the enjoyment of other rights. The CRPD (Article 9, accessibility) seeks to enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life and development. It calls upon States Parties to take appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to all aspects of society, on an equal basis with others, as well as to identify and eliminate obstacles and barriers to accessibility.

Through United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/47/3 dated 14 October 1992, as amended by resolution A/RES/48/97 dated 20 December 1993 and General Assembly Resolution 62/127 dated 18 December 2007, December 3 of every year is a universal observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.   The Philippines as a UN-member country is duty-bound to comply with the said international mandate, hence Proclamation No. 1157 was issued in October 16, 2006 to enjoin all government entities and instrumentalities as well as the private sector and the media to support  the celebration.

This year is anchored on Article 9 (Accessibility) of the UNCRPD which requires States Parties to take appropriate measures to ensure persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas.  Besides, it promotes a barrier-free environment, both infrastructure and attitudes, as means toward empowerment and inclusion of persons with disabilities in the mainstream of society.

The theme adopted this year “Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all”, provides an opportunity to address the exclusion of persons with disabilities by focusing on promoting accessibility and removing all types of barriers in society.  The Philippines as a State Party to the Convention is mandated to take cognizance of this provision and thus, required to implement a barrier-free environment for persons with disabilities in the country.


Through its commitment to fully support the celebration this year, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has Chaired the National Working Committee which is tasked to plan and implement activities in collaboration with the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA).  The later is  as the lead convenor along with different government and non-government agencies, including organizations of and for persons with disabilities.

Various activities are lined-up to highlight the Day’s celebration that include the:

 (1)                  Launching of exhibits of accessible buildings, features and facilities for persons with disabilities. – This is a gallery display of the different agencies of the government and non-government organizations working for persons with disabilities featuring accessible amenities of public buildings and similar structures for public use which will be mounted in panels.    It will also include the “Launching of PedXing (pedestrian crossing) for the Blind Persons” wherein a walk-through can be done.  This will be held at the lobby of the Metro Manila Development Authority at 8:00 A.M. to be graced and attended by the Secretaries of DSWD, DOH, DOTC and DPWH to ensure that it will have a big impact to the public.

(2)                  Press Conference. –  This will be conducted under the joint auspices of the Philippine Information Agency and the Public Information Office of MMDA.  The Secretaries of DSWD, DOH, DOTC and DPWH shall be invited as resource persons who will present and discuss with the media the progress of compliance to existing laws on disability particularly Batas Pambansa Bilang 344, Republic Act 7277 and the UNCRPD, among others.

(3)                    Simultaneous Sensitivity training for Metropolitan Manila Traffic Enforcers – it is a sensitivity campaign on how to handle and deal with pedestrians with different types of disabilities in the  local government units in Metro Manila to be held in Quezon City, Marikina City, Mandaluyong City, Pasig city and Makati City to be conducted simultaneously form 12:30 -4:00 P.M.

 (4)                  Lecture Forum on Disability Issues. – This will consist of lecture-presentations on various topics focusing especially on the rights of persons with disabilities.  Among the presenters-discussants are representatives of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Philippine Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Department of Public Works and Highways,  the NCDA, and  others.  This will be held at the SM City Marikina from 12:00 NN to 5:00 P.M.

These  activities are envisioned to provide opportunities for participation by all stakeholders in the country among the government (both national and local), non-government organizations, civil society groups and organizations of persons with disabilities to focus on the issues related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in development, both as beneficiaries and agents.


(1)   UN Enable –

(2)   National Council on Disability Affairs, Quezon City

(3)   Metro Manila Development Authority, Makati City

DOWNLOAD:  Program for the International Day, Dec 3


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APT, Apt for Carmona PWDs

November 27, 2012

Appropriate Paper-based Technology (APT) cheered.  Carmona trainees above, show off finished items and take to heart APT, by author Bevill Parker, British Environmentalist, which ‘’makes something out of nothing’’. Turning paper wastes/used cardboard boxes into durable/attractive kiddie table, chairs, and other utility items, this enthusiastic batch proved that with this technology, women and men with disabilities alike, even with physical impairments, could fabricate furniture/gadgets that are 1) useful 2) strong 3) costing almost nothing, and 4) attractive, which are 4 APT musts.






To the beat of GangNam Style and the like, the group, some joined by their kids, gamely made  group and individual projects non-stop, to maximize their 2 days.  Fascinated in the end by their devices’ woodlike quality and strength, tested by some heavy weight staff, Mayor Dahlia Loyola ordered 12 sets of tables and chairs for their Reading Center.  Tall order but a huge compliment to the jolly batch, including NCDA represented by Parker student at the University of London-ICH/APT trainor Nelia R. de Jesus, NCDA-TCD Chief.







This ‘’paper carpentry’’ workshop was made more fun, with in-between-work energizer sign language and getting an “ECO Bag” compliments of SM Supermalls for their tools and stuff.

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YOUNG VOICES’ SHOUT- OUT “ May PWD ID Kami, Kasali Kami!!

November 27, 2012

Leonard Cheshire Disability Philippines Foundation, Inc. (LCDPFI) gathered over 60 young people with disabilities and partners, to launch these “Young Voices” (YVs) as a powerhouse cast of disability advocates in Iloilo last October 28 to October 31, 2012.













May PWD ID Ako, Kasali Ako!

PNP-VI Regional Office Director Agrimero Cruz as the first Speaker, was widely cheered by the YV participants on his pledge to set up desks to address complaints of Persons with disabilities regionwide.  This, if enforced, will serve as a model for all PNP headquarters nationwide.

In her presentation, Ms. Virgie Rabino of NCDA IECD, herself a YV Coordinator when she was with LCDPFI, shared that less than 3% of children and youth with disabilities have access to education (Department of Education). And 0-14 years old and children with disabilities have no access to basic health and rehabilitation services (ADB).  This gap all the more makes sense to develop YVs as advocates to push for their own rights and help create a disability inclusive society.

Be the change you want to be…







Buzz Groups on cool campaign strategies, News writing/Journalism, ‘Know Your Laws and Rights’  by IECD Chief Zaldy Sanchez, below left, YV power! From LCD President Emmanuel Pengson.

NCDA-TCD Chief Nelia de Jesus shares local/overseas opportunities, and ..sign language benefits,

“Now with NCDA’s IECD team, former LCDPFI YV Coordinator Ms. Virgie Rabino shared from her own experiences, several tips in launching strong/vibrant advocacy.”


The youth with disabilities, actively tackled issues affecting their rights and ways to address them and fittingly capped the event with a cultural talent show/friendship night.

To keep their commitments binding, in check and progressive, the group signed a Manifesto of Commitment, and agreed to hook up through Facebook and Twitter.

Mrs. de Jesus challenged youth writers to submit news write-ups for NCDA’s website ( and avail of ‘cool’ incentives in return.  Moreover, the group could start writing YV success stories to be compiled as evidences of best practices by the youth sector.

Genson Fernandez, youth leader from Mariveles, Bataan, reminded that knowing their RIGHTS and OPPORTUNITIES should be matched by a sense of RESPONSIBILITY on their part.


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Lady Mayor Adopts “Bags for Life” in Carmona, Cavite

November 22, 2012

After an exciting exhibit and sale of fashionable “Bags for Life” crafted by persons with disabilities and their kins at the Municipal Hall last November 7, 2012,  Mayor Dahlia Loyola gave the project her thumbs up.  She warmly thanked NCDA for bringing in ‘Bags for Life’ Expert Ms. Lulu Ocampo for the 6-day workshop, and on the spot, gave instructions to tap local establishments to donate all used telephone directories, posters and newspapers to sustain ‘’Bags’’ production


Mayor Dahlia Loyola admires Bags for Life finished products and thanks NCDA represented by TCD Chief Nelia R. de Jesus for bringing in Bags Expert/Author Mrs. Lulu Ocampo.


20 trainees with disabilities hurdled 8 days to learn weaving “Bags for Life”, back-to-back with ‘Appropriate Paper-based Technology (APT)” to make useful devices/kiddie tables and chairs from waste cardboards and papers.  Aimed to provide Carmona’s persons with disabilities novel and practical options to generate extra income, this is also an NCDA’s pitch to enlist women and men with disabilities as environment advocates through waste reuse.



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RP Joins UN-ESCAP’s Intergovernmental Meeting to Assess AP Decade of Persons with Disabilities

November 21, 2012

‘’MAKE THE RIGHT REAL-PHilippine Delegation – Standing left to right: DSWD Undersecretary  & In-Charge of NCDA/Head of the Delegation Parisya L. Taradji, NCDA-Programs Management Division Assistant Chief/Planning Officer IV Marlu F. Evangelista,   Eleanor Naidas, DOTC-Accessibility Task Force Member, DepEd Undersecretary Yolanda Quijano, Elenita Asuncion and Irene Dimapilis, members, DOTC Task Force on Accessibility. Front Row: NCDA Acting Executive Director Carmen Reyes-Zubiaga and Mr. Henry Tianero representing the Department of Labor and Employment











The Philippine delegation closing ranks. The ‘’Incheon Strategy on Disability Inclusive Development’’ was adopted by the member countries of the Asian and the Pacific Region, with the Philippines  underscoring the active participation of DPOs in the monitoring and evaluation of the new decade.

The RP Team is set to launch a high-powered consultation back home, to draw a National Action Plan for a new Decade of Persons with Disabilities, carrying the theme “Make the Right Real”.


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RP TEAM Bags 2 “Global IT Challenge Grand Prizes and 1 Special Award in Korea

November 16, 2012

Our 6-man “Make the Right Real Team Philippines” brought home 3 awards, 2 grand champion  and a special award in e-Life, e-Tools and slogan making contests in ‘Global IT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities’ in Song Do University, Incheon, Korea.  Young champs are Ezekiel John Erpelo (MCCID Institute of Technology), Caroll Ann de Belen (Manila High School) and Joseph Gabriel  Vesagas (Independent Learning Center).

Proudly Filipinos!! Clockwise, 1) Ezekiel ‘’ÉJ’’ John Erpelo , grand prize winner, e-Life (web browsing/research), 2) whole team from left,  Jabby Vesagas, slogan making special awardee, Gerson Peralta, Philippine National School for the Blind, team leader/coordinator NCDA staff Jennifer Garcia, Caroll Ann and EJ; 3) Winners EJ, Caroll Ann and Jabby with their laptop prizes; and  4) Caroll Ann gets grand prize for e-Tool.

The 6-man “MAKE THE RIGHT REAL- TEAM PHILIPPINES” led by NCDA staff Jennifer Garcia represented the country and bested other bets from 27 countries in this event held last October 29 to November 2, 2012.  Ms. Garcia, herself with disability was the Team Coordinator, and was one of the presentors who spoke on “Accessible ICT in the Philippines”.



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