KIKO ADDRESSES INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITY; URGES MULTI-SECTORAL COLLABORATION

May 5, 2009

Press Release
February 11, 2009

 

 

KIKO ADDRESSES INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITY; URGES MULTI-SECTORAL COLLABORATION

 

At the Asia Pacific Conference on the Implementation and Monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), held today at Traders Hotel, Pasay City, independent Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan urged participants to be open to multi-sectoral collaboration and to partner with local government units for effective action regarding persons with disability (PWDs).

 “If we want to see real change in our communities, we must partner with local governments,” Kiko said. “We must be able to identify local governments that are dynamic, progressive, and proactive, and we have seen that cutting-edge public sector leadership is really happening on the ground in many local governments nationwide.”

Kiko was the principal sponsor of Senate Bill 2313, which seeks to strengthen Republic Act 7277, otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, by creating the Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office (PDAO) in every province, city, and municipality.

 

Although SB 2313 is still pending in the Senate, the Philippines was recognized as being one of the first countries in Asia to ratify the CRPD.

 

“We need to lobby and to push for its passage into law,” Kiko urged conference participants. “Government seems to be moving slowly in providing access to funding and other resources that will make a big difference in the lives of PWDs. There is much to be desired at this point.”

 

“So while we want change to happen within government, we cannot expect government alone to address these issues,” Kiko emphasized.

 

He also cited the examples of youth organizations KAAKBAY (Kapansanan ay Akibat sa Kaunlaran ng Bayan) and Inclusive Youth Center (IYC), two awardees of the Search for Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) that worked to address the needs of PWDs in their own communities without depending on government resources.

 The international conference was organized by the International Disability Alliance and sought to share examples of best practices on the ratification and implementation of the CRPD on a national level. Representatives of PWD organizations, international organizations, and national governments from 14 countries were present at the event. Speakers came from Spain, India, South Africa, the United States, and the Philippines.

“Let us work as a community, let us collaborate with other communities, and let us be open to the possibilities that await us. Remember, disabilities are only physicalas long as your mind and your spirit are willing, then nothing is impossible,” Kiko ended.

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