WHEREAS, the total development and empowerment of women is a State policy enshrined in the 1987 Philippine Constitution which specifically provides that the State recognizes the role of women in nation-building, and shall ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men (Section 14, Article II);

WHEREAS, the Constitution further provides that the State shall protect working women by providing safe and healthful working conditions, taking into account their maternal functions, and such facilities and opportunities that will enhance their welfare and enable them to realize their full potential in the service of the nation (Section 14, Article XIII);

WHEREAS, in order to translate these Constitutional provisions into action, Republic Act 7192, otherwise known as the Women in Development and Nation Building Act, was passed and enacted into law by Congress;

WHEREAS, a number of policies were issued by the national government enjoining women to participate actively and meaningfully at all levels of policy-making and governance such as Proclamation No. 224 issued on March 1, 2004, declaring the First week of March of Every Year as Women’s Week and March 8, 1998 and every year thereafter as Women’s Rights and International Peace Day in commemoration of the struggle of Filipino women for national freedom, civil liberty, equality and human rights;

WHEREAS, women with disabilities are also part of society and such deserve equal rights in the field of law and in all aspects of human endeavor;

WHEREAS, in dealing justly with the rights of women with disabilities and in order for the Philippine government to comply with the regional mandate prescribed under the Biwako Millennium Framework (BMF) for Action Towards an Inclusive Barrier-Free and Rights-Based Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific adopted on October 25-28, 2003 by the United Nations-Economic and Social Committee in the Asia Pacific (UN-ESCAP), this proclamation is being issued for the purpose.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby declare the last Monday of March of every year as WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES DAY.

The National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP), in partnership with the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW), and other concerned organizations, is hereby directed to ensure the observance of the Women with Disabilities Day. Likewise, the NCWDP, with the assistance of the NCRFW will specifically highlight and integrate the needs and concerns of the women with disabilities in the Comprehensive Plan of Action for persons with disabilities.

All heads of departments, chiefs of bureaus, offices, agencies and instrumentalities of the national government are hereby instructed to implement plans, programs and activities geared towards the fulfillment of the human rights of the women with disabilities.

Local chief executives and other officials of local government units are hereby encouraged to implement plans, programs and activities geared towards the fulfillment of the human rights of women with disabilities.

Specifically, all concerned agencies should ensure equal access of women with disabilities to health services, education, training and employment and protection from sexual and other forms of abuse. They are also directed to implement programmes to raise public awareness of the situation of women with disabilities and to promote positive attitudes, role models and opportunities for their development. The NCRFW shall integrate the concertos and needs of the women with disabilities in the national plan for women.

The funds necessary to carry out the provisions of this proclamation shall be sourced from the five percent (5%) of each agency’s budget for gender and development (GAD) provided for in the yearly General Appropriations Act and from other funds to support the implementation of the national plan of action for women.

Non-government organizations and self-help groups among women with disabilities, as well as other organizations, are hereby enjoined to take full cognizance of this proclamation and to fully cooperate in the attainment of its goal and activities.

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 6th day of December, in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Four.

President, Republic of the Philippines

By the President:

Executive Secretary