BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
PROCLAMATION No. 711
DECLARING THE THIRD WEEK OF JANUARY AS AUTISM CONSCIOUSNESS WEEK
WHEREAS, there is a growing incidence of autism among Filipinos, necessitating more people from different sectors to become aware of this disability;
WHEREAS, it is the aim of the Philippine Government to develop awareness of the problems of autistic persons and promote a supportive environment among communities to enable autistic persons to live with dignity and enable them to function independently and contribute productively to society;
WHEREAS, the growing number of autistic persons has spawned the need for early diagnosis, therapy and education intervention to help them and their families manage the lifelong disability;
WHEREAS, the government recognizes the need to provide greater attention and assistance to the plight of autistic persons and mobilize its various agencies and departments, especially the Department of Health, the Department of Education, Culture and Sports, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development to look into how they can meaningfully support community-based approaches toward providing early diagnosis, therapy and education intervention to autistic persons;
WHEREAS, at a meeting convened by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Beijing, China, from December 1-5, 1992, an Asia and Pacific Decade was launched;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FIDEL V. RAMOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby declare January 15 to 21, 1996 and every third week of January thereafter as “Autism Consciousness Week”. For this purpose, the Department of Health, the Department of Education, Culture and Sports, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Department of Interior and Local Government will jointly serve as the national focal point for the commemoration of this event. These agencies will take the lead in initiating activities that will increase awareness on autism and its effects, as well as its early identification. To ensure immediate intervention, the participation and cooperation of non-government organizations and the private sector will be secured.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of the Philippines to be affixed.
DONE in the City of Manila, this 4th day of January in the year of Our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Six.
(Sgd.) FIDEL V. RAMOS
President, Republic of the Philippines
By the President:
(Sgd.) RUBEN D. TORRES