To push international cooperation in a big way, Chairperson Romulo led the NCDA in a series of meetings with visiting foreign experts from VSO-Netherlands, Fred Hollows Foundation, NHE Japan and Queensland University of Technology, Australia to keep abreast with the latest disability trends and usher in as many options as possible for the sector, here and abroad. This is the Council’s pitch to fulfill its commitment to upscale the rights of PWDs thru international cooperation called for in Article 32 of the UN-Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

1. VSO-Bahaginan team led by Ms. Joke Zwart, was introduced to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who graced the Council’s celebration of its new building. Through NCDA, VSO-B invites Filipino volunteers to share their expertise in various fields in selected countries’ disability programs. From the occasion, the team was able to link up with heads of government, private and disabled people’s organizations.

GMA with VSO officials

Engineer Bien C. Mateo shakes hand with Ms. Joke

Ms. Yoke meets Mrs. Romulo

Meeting with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) Bahaginan International Placements Manager for Disability Ms. Joke Zwart and Ms. Maloy Tiongson, Volunteering Programmes Manager on February 17, 2010 and met NCDA Undersecretary Rosie Lovely T. Romulo, DSWD Undersecretary Luwalhati F. Pablo and Engr. Bien C. Mateo, Chairperson, Committee on Disability Super Malls during President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s visit to NCDA on February 18, 2010.

2. Fred Hollows Foundation, long time partner of the Department of Health on its disability prevention and empowerment programs for visually impaired Filipinos, exchanged information with NCDA to explore potential program tie ups.

Mr. Lee with Fred Hollows Foundation officials

Fred Hollows Foundation Officials

January 25, 2010, NCDA Board Room, Meeting with former Australian Ambassador now volunteer for Fred Hollows Foundation Mr. Graeme Lade and Mr. Ross Hardy, Program Development Manager with Mr. Mateo A. Lee, Jr. Officer-In-Charge, Ms. Nelia R. De Jesus, Chief, Technical Cooperation Division, Ms. Marlu F. Evangelista, Planning Officer IV, Mr. Rizalio R. Sancez, Chief, Information Education and Communication Division and Ms. Evelyn T. Dolencio, Regional Programs Coordinator, NCDA.

3. Queensland University of Technology (QUT) team under its “Australian Leadership Awards (ALA)” offers partnership to train in Australia a delegation from NCDA, partner agencies including DPOs. The 6-week training spurred by “working together for greater impact” aims to train in-depth, major stakeholders on policy development, advocacy, networking, CBR and other fields, with the rights of persons with disabilities as an anchor.

NCDA Officers with Queensland University of Technology officials

Mr. Lee listening to QUT representatives

Meeting with Ms. Karen Lawrence, Project Director, Mr. Nelson Salangsang, Manager and Mr. Vincent Sacriz, International Development Officer, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia on February 10, 2010 at NCDA with Officer-In-Charge Mr. Mateo A. Lee, Jr., Nelia R. De Jesus, Chief, Technical Cooperation Division and Ms. Dolores Deang-Soterio, Chief, Programs Management Division.

4. JICA Experts from Japan, shared with Council counterparts the latest trends on Non-Handicapping Environment, prior to serving as Resource Persons in two NHE pilot sites in New Lucena, Iloilo and Opol, Cagayan de Oro.

JICA short term experts for NHE

JICA experts with NCDA officers

Orientation Meeting, Sharing of Access Audit Training and related Profiling in Opol and New Lucena (Non-Handicapping Environment (NHE) pilot areas) by Ms. Naoko Ito, JICA Expert, and NHE Project Assistants Ms. Eunice Marie Gato-Factor and Mr. Edward B. Esternon, NCDA Planning Officer IV, Ms. Marlu F. Evangelista and Ms. Nelia R. De Jesus, Project Development Officer V with Mrs. Yoshie Kawauchi, Mr. Katsushi Satoh, Associate Professor/Architect and Dr. Yoshihiko Kawauchi, Ph.D., Professor/Architect, JICA Short-Term Expert for NHE who shared new trends in accessibility on February 16, 2010, NCDA Board Room.