Please refer to: Ms. Barbie Ganaden, Information, Education and Communication Division, 951-5013

The Philippine government through the National Council on Disability Affairs and its collaborating partner- the Japan International Cooperation Agency, was awarded a National Excellence Award on their project called “The Creation of Non-Handicapping Environment (NHE) for Persons with Disabilities in Rural Areas in the Philippines” by the International Association for Universal Design (IAUD) based in Japan during the 3rd International Conference for Universal Design last October 30 to November 3 this year. The awarding ceremony was held on November 1, 2010 in Hamamatsu, Japan.

The award was presented in recognition of the government’s efforts to implement two (2) NHE projects in the Municipalities of New Lucena and Opol in Iloilo Province and Misamis Oriental, respectively, to promote a barrier-free community for persons with disabilities in the Philippines. Present during the awarding rites were Mayors Mondejar-Seville and Dexter B. Yasay of said municipalities.

The NHE project which is jointly implemented by NCDA and JICA started in 2008 and will end in 2012. This undertaking aims primarily to make public places in the rural areas, such as churches, public markets, government offices and other establishments accessible to persons with disabilities in accordance with existing universal design concepts other than compliance to Batas Pambansa Bilang 344, otherwise known as the Accessibility Law.

The IAUD Award 2010 is presented and conferred to individuals and organizations for their outstanding activities and contributions towards the realization of the Universal Design as a means for the society in which many people as possible can enjoy meaningful and comfortable life free from inconveniences due to differences of ethnic or cultural, origin, customs, nationality, sex, age or capacity.

IAUD acts on its principle to contribute in improving the well being of human kind through contributing to the sound development of society to realize universal design.