The population of PWDs in the Philippines is about 940,000 people (1.23% of the population at large) according to the census executed in 2000. However, if the estimate ratio 10% of World Health Organization (WHO) is applied, about 9.2 million people are PWDs in the Philippines as of 2010. The rights of PWDs in the Philippines have been covered by the enactment of the Philippine Republic Constitution in 1987, the promulgation of the Republic Act No. 7277 (alias “Magna Carta of Persons with Disabilities (Great charter)”) in 1992 and the promulgation of the Republic Act No. 9442 (articles of amendment on the Magna Carta) in 2007.
With regard to accessibility, the Accessibility Law B.P. 344 intended for barrier-free on building and public transportation. However, in terms of the implementation of the law, little progress has been made and a further effort should be undertaken in the Philippines. For example, steep ramps and ramps without handrails are seen left and right and most buildings are not accessible for PWDs. Thus, PWDs cannot fully participate in community development activities, which lead them to be trapped in poverty. Access to education, access to health care and access to employment are all limited for PWDs towards self-reliance and economic independence. Negative attitude toward PWDs worsens their situation and makes their participation more difficult.
The project aims at promoting physical accessibility on built-environment, and social accessibility on regulation, system, and people’s attitude in community. In order to create NHE in the Philippines, the project implements activities based on a series of five (5) components/outputs as follows:
Output 1) Implementing Mechanism to define the implementing and monitoring mechanisms
Output 2) Profiling to grasp/assess the situation on PWDs and physical accessibility
Output 3) Capacity Development to enhance capacity of counterparts/stakeholders, empower PWDs and their groups/organizations and promote their participation
Output 4) Advocacy to promote a removal of barriers in society, and
Output 5) Networking to disseminate/share project experiences and NHE with International/National stakeholders.