National Disability Rights Week in July declared

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
National Disability Rights Week in July declared
File photo shows a PWD in crutches. For many PWDs, mobility is the main problem holding them back.
The STAR / Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — President Marcos has declared July 17 to 23 of every year as “National Disability Rights Week” to protect the rights of and promote respect for persons with disabilities.

The declaration is part of the Philippines’ commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), according to Proclamation 597 signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on June 13.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development, through the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), is directed to lead, coordinate and supervise the weeklong celebration.

The NCDA is also tasked to identify the programs, activities and projects for the observance.

“Having ratified the UNCRPD, the country has been committed to its purpose to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity,” Marcos’ proclamation read.

As of June 8, the NCDA has registered 1,638,588 persons with disabilities in the country.

Marcos stressed the need to amend Proclamations 1870 and 361 to be consistent with the purpose of the UNCRPD and to promote a rights-based approach on National Disability Rights Week.

Proclamation 1870 made in 1979 declared the third week of July as the “National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week,” while Proclamation 361 made in 2000 declared July 23 as the culmination of the NDPR Week, coinciding with the birth anniversary of the Sublime Paralytic, Apolinario Mabini.

All government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations, state universities and colleges, are directed to observe the celebration. All local government units, nongovernment organizations and private sectors are encouraged to observe the same.

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