UN ESCAP IT Policy Seminar Tags Philippines’ IT Policies

October 29, 2013

Ms. Nelia R. de Jesus joins AP women panelists passionate on “  inclusive information”.
Ms. Nelia R. de Jesus joins AP women panelists passionate on “ inclusive information”.

With IT as an empowering tool, the Philippines-Brunei Darussalam- Indonesia tandem shared respective trends, issues and best practices to “MAKE THE RIGHT REAL” for persons with disabilities. Panelists above left are: Ms. Huraini Hurairah, Ministry of Education-Brunei Darussalam, Ms. Ema Salwa, Ministry of Social Welfare-Indonesia and Ms. Nelia R. de Jesus (in green blazer) , National Council on Disability Affairs-Philippines.

IT Policy Experts
IT Policy Experts

“GITC- ÍT Policy Exchange Seminar” marks agreements with a posterity shot at the United Nations Conference Centre, Bangkok, Thailand, October 10, 2013. Joined by 12 countries regionwide, this was launched by the UN-Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and the Korean Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities (KSRD).

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Philippines Leads Global Initiative at UN to “Break Barriers and Open Doors” for Persons with Disabilities

October 29, 2013

Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan (center) chairs the discussion during the first ever High Level Meeting on Disability and Development on 23 September 2013 at the UN Headquarters, New York
Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan (center) chairs the discussion during the first ever High Level Meeting on Disability and Development on 23 September 2013 at the UN Headquarters, New York

25 September 2013 – The Philippines led global discussions at the United Nations (UN) to “break barriers and open doors” for persons with disabilities that pushed for a “truly inclusive global growth and development.”

At the first-ever High-level Meeting on Realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other Internationally agreed Development Goals for Persons with Disabilities held on September 23, the Philippines’ Secretary for Socio-Economic Planning Arsenio M. Balisacan chaired the discussions centering on the theme “The way forward: a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond.”
The high level meeting stems from the Philippine initiative at the UN to mainstream disability in the millennium development goals and other internationally agreed development goals towards 2015 and beyond.

In Secretary Balisacan’s opening remarks, he pointed out that disability remains largely invisible in most mainstream development processes, including the MDGs and something has to be done on a global scale.

Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Libran N. Cabactulan said the event is a “tremendous achievement for the Philippines” which, through the Permanent Mission, had tirelessly pushed for the initiative at the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly.

“The Philippines believes in a truly inclusive growth and development for our world and this attention and focus on Persons with Disabilities at the highest level of leadership in the world demonstrates the resolve of our Government to work resolutely with other stakeholders to make further inroads,” said Ambassador Cabactulan.

Since 2010, the Permanent Mission of the Philippines had been working on a series of resolutions to promote equal opportunities for persons with disabilities and to ensure an inclusive development agenda so that “no sector of society will be left behind” as the global community deliberates on the post-2015 development framework.

The high level meeting, held at the level of heads of states and governments, highlighted the importance of the role of persons with disabilities in contributing to overall social and economic development and the need to ensure the full and effective participation of the one billion persons with disabilities in society beyond 2015.

The meeting adopted an action-oriented outcome document which supported the aims of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the realization of the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally-agreed development goals for persons with disabilities.

The high level meeting included an opening plenary, two roundtable discussions and a closing ceremony.

Among the speakers during the opening plenary were John William Ashe, President of the 68th session of the General Assembly; Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations; Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes, Chair of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Stevie Wonder, award-winning songwriter and musician, United Nations Messenger of Peace ; and Yannis Vardakastanis, President of the European Disability Forum.

Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Director General of the Philippines National Economic Development Agency (NEDA) co-chaired Roundtable 1 on “International and regional cooperation and partnerships for disability-inclusive development” with the Foreign Minister of Spain.

A total of 67 speakers, mostly heads of States and Ministers, participated during roundtable discussion. These included UN Women and a representative of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry.

In his opening remarks during the roundtable discussions, Secretary Balisacan conveyed that the Philippines is especially pleased to see the high level meeting come into fruition.

He said that the meeting provided a “golden opportunity” to ensure that in the post-2015 development framework, no sector of society shall be left behind.

Secretary Balisacan also pointed out the need to bring much-needed visibility to mainstream disability in development processes.

He said that the Philippines hopes that the disability and development outcome document adopted by the General Assembly will galvanize all Member states, UN agencies, civil society, academia, private sector and other stakeholders into implementing the concrete actions set forth in the document and forging stronger collaboration and partnership for a disability inclusive development.

Negotiations for the outcome document were facilitated by Ambassador Cabactulan and Ambassador Fernando Arias, Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations.

Aside from heads of states, ministers, UN officials and other stakeholders, more than 800 representatives of organization of persons with disabilities attended the event.

Source: https://www.dfa.gov.ph/index.php/2013-06-27-21-50-36/phl-embassies-and-consulates/876-philippines-leads-global-initiative-at-un-to-break-barriers-and-open-doors-for-persons-with-disabilities

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NCDA ACTING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CARMEN ZUBIAGA AN “AGENT OF CHANGE”

October 29, 2013

Director Carmen Zubiaga
Director Carmen Zubiaga

NCDA Acting Executive Director Carmen Zubiaga recently enjoined persons with disabilities (PWDs) to mobilize themselves as PWD Sector advocates and let their voice be heard during the Opening Ceremony of Fully-Abled Nation (F.A.N.)’s Post Election Summit held in Mandarin Oriental Hotel on October 14, 2013.

Being an advocate on the rights of persons with disabilities all her life, she encouraged the participants to reach for their dream to be someone deserving of respect and to be an individual with equal rights. She also called for support to adopt “disability inclusive development”. She emphasized that the NCDA’s mission is to empower persons with disabilities and to enable them to participate in all aspects of life. Through the FAN, the PWD Sector was able to assert their right to suffrage and earn respect as an individual with equal rights and no longer as objects of charity.

In the same occasion, Mr. Layton Pike, Minister Counsellor of the Australian Government’s aid program in the Philippines recognized the efforts of the NCDA and other different organizations working on disability-inclusive projects and activities, particularly in supporting the right of persons with disabilities to participate in the electoral process. He called the occasion as a “celebration of achievements”.

Disability Advocate Ronnel del Rio pointed out the need to sustain the productive partnership between the claim holders (PWDs), duty bearers (government agencies) and funding agencies to achieve the country’s commitment in the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. “Gone are the days that persons with disabilities are regarded as subject of pity while the government as the experts,” he said. He also emphasized the need to implement RA No. 10366 “Authorizing the Commission on Elections to establish precincts assigned to accessible polling places exclusively for Persons with Disabilities and Senior Citizens”.

The Asia Foundation Director for Programs, Ms. Maribel Buenaobra, presented the FAN Milestones, as follows: (1) Increased voter awareness among PWDs; (2) Promoted partnerships of the FAN coalition to enhance support and awareness of PWD participatory needs; and (3) Strengthened capabilities of DPOs and NGOs supporting PWD advocacies. She also intends to partner with the Department of Education since the teachers are actively involved during election, as well as to other strangers/allies which had not been TAF partner. She expressed hope that the COMELEC Resolution No. 97632 will be fully implemented in the 2016 election.

Director Maribel Buenaobra of The Asia Foundation presents the FAN Milestones.
Director Maribel Buenaobra of The Asia Foundation presents the FAN Milestones.

Case studies on the voting experiences of persons with disabilities were also presented by representatives from partner organizations such as Cerebral Palsied Association of the Philippines (CPAP), VSO Bahaginan and Upholding Life and Nature (ULAN).

The Social Weather Station (SWS) Survey on the 2013 Election Experience of PWDs was also discussed. The report shows that inspite of mobility problem, absence of assistors and other reasons, there was a comparatively increase on the number of voters with disabilities who participated in the 2013 Midterm Elections as compared to the May 2010 election. People with orthopedic impairment (54%) topped the list, followed by those with visual impairment (53%), hearing/speech impairment (51%).

The FAN is part of the disability inclusive development program of the Australian Government implemented by The Asia Foundation. The FAN campaign employed an extensive multi-stakeholder engagement involving the society like non-government organizations, civil society organizations, disabled people’s organizations, PWD federations, government, media and other election-focused groups. It built on the partnerships and collaborations among these groups to increase public awareness of the importance of PWDs’ right to suffrage and right to participate in democratic processes.

Dr. Steven Rood, Philippine Country Representative of The Asia Foundation, in his closing remarks, lauded the many partners who made the program such a success. “It was thrilling to see how much this goal sparked the interest of such a wide variety of organizations. This is an encouraging sign of how much progress we can make to a Fully Able Nation”, he said.

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Rescuing PWDs highlights International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction

October 11, 2013

Actual demonstration on how to rescue persons with disabilities in times of disaster will highlight this year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDR) on October 11, 2013 at Music Hall, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City.

The demonstration which will involve rescuing persons using wheelchairs, persons with visually impairment and the Deaf will be conducted by the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA). Likewise, an interactive exhibit featuring a prototype of an accessible restroom and a scale model of evacuation centers will be held at the 2/F Entertainment area, Mall of Asia.

Meanwhile, TV personality Mr. Boy Abunda will take part in a National Conference of Disaster Risk Reduction together with stakeholders and DRR champions, LGUs and communities who will share their knowledge on DRR and experiences during disasters, and at the same to present their good inclusive Community Based Disability Risk Reduction (CBDRR) initiatives to be held at the Heritage Ballroom, Heritage Hotel, Pasay City. Mr. Boy Abunda is expected to lead the commitment setting during the National Conference.


SM Mall of Asia front liners (left photo) have formed for the dry run/drill to be ready on how to rescue persons with disabilities (right photo) during disasters conducted by NDRRMC and MMDA. This will highlight the celebration of the International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction on October 11, 2013.

Participants will be representatives from selected national government agencies and Mayors, Municipal DRRM Offices, Barangay DRRM Committees, local NGO partners of the Provinces of North Cotabato, Sorsogon, Camarines Norte, Surigao, Agusan del Sur and del Norte, Isabela, Camarines Sur and the National Capital Region municipalities.

This is an initiative of the consortium of six (6) international non-government organizations from ACF, Care Nederland, Christian Aid, Handicap International, Oxfam and Plan International thru its project “SUBU” (Scale-Up, Build Up: Strengthening Local Alliances and Advocacy and Empowering Disability Champions on Disaster Risk Reduction) in cooperation with the National Council on Disability Affairs.

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Rescuing PWDs highlights International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction

October 10, 2013

Actual demonstration on how to rescue persons with disabilities in times of disaster will highlight this year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDR) on October 11, 2013 at Music Hall, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City.

The demonstration which will involve rescuing persons using wheelchairs, persons with visually impairment and the Deaf will be conducted by the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA). Likewise, an interactive exhibit featuring a prototype of an accessible restroom and a scale model of evacuation centers will be held at the 2/F Entertainment area, Mall of Asia.

Meanwhile, TV personality Mr. Boy Abunda will take part in a National Conference of Disaster Risk Reduction together with stakeholders and DRR champions, LGUs and communities who will share their knowledge on DRR and experiences during disasters, and at the same to present their good inclusive Community Based Disability Risk Reduction (CBDRR) initiatives to be held at the Heritage Ballroom, Heritage Hotel, Pasay City. Mr. Boy Abunda is expected to lead the commitment setting during the National Conference.

Participants will be representatives from selected national government agencies and Mayors, Municipal DRRM Offices, Barangay DRRM Committees, local NGO partners of the Provinces of North Cotabato, Sorsogon, Camarines Norte, Surigao, Agusan del Sur and del Norte, Isabela, Camarines Sur and the National Capital Region municipalities.

This is an initiative of the consortium of six (6) international non-government organizations from ACF, Care Nederland, Christian Aid, Handicap International, Oxfam and Plan International thru its project “SUBU” (Scale-Up, Build Up: Strengthening Local Alliances and Advocacy and Empowering Disability Champions on Disaster Risk Reduction) in cooperation with the National Council on Disability Affairs.

by: Information, Education and Communication Division
Approved for Uploading in the NCDA Website and News Blog: CARMEN R. ZUBIAGA, Acting Executive Director

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