QUEZON CITY, February 2, 2021 – The National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) remains true to its mandate of empowering persons with disabilities as well as its commitment to protect and promote the rights of Filipinos with disability despite various challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the number of disasters that hit the country.

According to NCDA Executive Director Emerito L. Rojas, in its efforts to continue for the empowerment of Filipinos with disability, he will be focus on the Direction For All approach. This approach will achieve the ultimate goal for persons with disabilities thru one sector – one direction approach comprise of sectors of Regional Committee on Disability Affairs (RCDAs), Local Government Units LGUs), Persons with Disability (PWDs), and Persons with Disability Affairs Offices (PDAOs). They will collaborate with NCDA, the lead agency to the new responsive direction for 2021 focusing on (1) Employment and Livelihood; (2) Disability Data Management; and (3) Education programs. They will work jointly on the (a) Policy Formulation and National Agencies’ Priorities; (b) Regional Policy Adoption and Implementation; and (c) Policy implementation of programs, projects and services.

In his statement, to identify policy gaps and challenges in the implementation, reviews on selected laws on disability will be conducted on the (1) Batas Pambansa Blg. 344 otherwise known as the “Accessibility Law” by expanding a provision on the accessibility to persons with visual and communication disabilities; (2) Republic Act 10524 (1% of all positions in all government reserved for Persons with Disabilities); and (3) Executive Order no. 417 titled as “Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.”

Further, a monitoring on the Implementation of RA No. 10070 or the PDAO Law will also be undertaken on the (a) Establishment and operations of PDAO; (b) Capacity building for PDAO heads and Focal Persons on Disability; and (c) Organizing the National League of PDAOs.

Moreover, the Disability Data Management through the Philippine Registry for Persons with Disability (PRPWD) headed by the Department of Health (DOH), allows the Council, to manage the number of persons with disabilities in the country, and to spot the PWD fake ID creation/issuance. (Management thinker Peter Drucker is often quoted as saying that “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Drucker means that you can’t know whether or not you are successful unless success is defined and tracked.) With a clearly established metric system, it will be easy to quantify the number of persons with disabilities and their location for easy monitoring.

Meanwhile, all advocacy activities of the NCDA are conducted in virtual meetings, zoom, webinars and in facebook live. According to Director Rojas, he is expanding more of his advocacy through emerging technologies in the new normal, such as, (a) E-Library system; (b) Online Radio Broadcast (Youtube, Twitter, Facebook live); (c) Video Clip Production; and (e) Memes/Infographic Development. In this way, he said NCDA can be reachable and accessible around the country and the world.

In his final statement, Director Rojas expressed his gratitude to RCDAs, PWDs, PDAOs, LGUs and other stakeholders for their commitment and continuous support and collaboration with the NCDA to promote the rights for persons with disabilities.