House to address Dwarfism

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star
House to address Dwarfism
House of Representatives on July 6, 2023
STAR / Jesse Bustos

MANILA, Philippines — With all of the priority bills listed in the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) over and done with, the House of Representatives has passed a bill declaring Oct. 25 every year as “National Dwarfism Awareness Day.”

With 223-2-0 votes, the chamber approved on third and final reading House Bill (HB) 4644, which also declares October as the “National Dwarfism Awareness Month.”

House members recently reported that 54 or 57 priority measures identified by LEDAC – as well as 17 bills mentioned by President Marcos in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July 2023 – have already been approved.

Authored by Quezon City Rep. Patrick Michael Vargas, HB 4644 underscores the need to raise awareness about dwarfism to “uphold and protect the rights and welfare of Filipinos who are marginalized.”

The measure said that “people of short stature or little persons continue to face stigma and discrimination.”

“Dwarfism is a medical or genetic condition that usually results in an adult height of 4’10” or shorter, although in some cases, the average height of an adult with dwarfism is 4’0”, but typical heights range from 2’8” to 4’8”,” the bill stated.

This condition can be caused by so many different genetic or medical conditions and it is difficult to get an accurate number of individuals affected.

The bill showed that the most recognizable and most common form of dwarfism in little people is achondroplasia, which accounts for 70 percent  of dwarfism cases globally.

“Despite the validity of their existence and their contributions to society, little people continue to face challenges in accessing equal opportunities for all, are stigmatized and are discriminated due to being different,” the bill added.

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