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Filipina wins first ASEAN Prize for autism advocacy

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Filipina wins first ASEAN Prize for autism advocacy
Erlinda Uy Koe, the chair emeritus of Autism Society Philippines, received the award during the opening ceremony of the 33rd ASEAN Summit in Singapore Tuesday.
The STAR / Cristina Mendez

MANILA, Philippines — A Filipina advocate for persons with autism won the inaugural Association of Southeast Asian Nations prize for her exemplary contributions to the cause of inclusivity in the region.

Erlinda Uy Koe, the chair emeritus of Autism Society Philippines, received the award during the opening ceremony of the 33rd ASEAN Summit in Singapore Tuesday. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong presented the award to Koe.

The ASEAN prize aims to “recognize inspiring achievements and contributions of an individual or organization that foster the ASEAN identity, promote the ASEAN spirit and champion the ASEAN way.”

“I am thankful for the momentum this recognition will bring in taking our advocacy to the regional stage. Persons with autism need acceptance, accommodation and appreciation—and we hope to find more receptive minds and hearts among our policymakers to build a genuinely autism-friendly global society,” Koe, who also chaired the ASEAN Autism Network, said.

In a statement, Malacañang congratulated Koe for bagging the inaugural prize.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said her contribution in improving the lives of people with autism “symbolize the spirit of ASEAN as an inclusive, resilient, people-oriented and people-centered community.”

“We cannot be more proud of Ms. Koe and may her exemplary works inspire greater righteousness and dignity in all of us,” Panelo said.

ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS

ERLINA UY KOE

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