President Benigno S. Aquino III recently declared the years 2013 to 2022 as the Philippine Decade of “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities.

The declaration is contained in Proclamation No. 688 which also supports the Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific, earlier declared during a high level intergovernmental meeting on the final review of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities (2003-2012) held at Incheon, Korea in November of last year.

In the same meeting, the participants who included a delegation from the Philippines headed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) also adopted the Incheon Strategy to Make the Right Real for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific, which gives impetus to the recently-declared “Philippine Decade.”

The said Proclamation directs the NCDA to lead all efforts in formulating and issuing a comprehensive National Plan of Action for the 3rd Decade which translates the objectives of disability-related laws and policies into concrete programs, projects, and activities. These laws include among others, Batas Pambansa Blg. 344 (Accessibility Law); Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7277 or the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities; R.A. No. 9442; R.A. No. 10070, Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) Law; and R.A. No. 10524.

In the same Proclamation, all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the national government and local government units, in consultation with the private sectors, civil society organizations are enjoined to implement plans, programs, and activities geared towards the development of persons with disabilities and that the funds necessary for the implementation of this provision shall be sourced from the appropriation of concerned government agencies.

The Philippine Decade according to NCDA Acting Executive Director Carmen R. Zubiaga was also a recommendation among the participants of the NCDA-led regional consultations with organizations of persons with disabilities in order to continuously build on the gains towards promoting disability inclusive development.

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