July 17-23 of every year is National Disability Rights Week

2024 June 19

IMPROVISED WHEELCHAIR. Despite his disability, life goes on for Ramel Bangkas, 49, who traverses a road in Quimpo Boulevard, Davao City on Nov. 10, 2023 using an improvised wheelchair. He vowed that he would continue providing for his family by selling spices using his wheelchair.

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has declared July 17 to 23 of every year as “National Disability Rights Week” in a bid to raise awareness and uphold the rights of persons with disabilities.

In the two-page Proclamation No. 597 signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on June 13 and made public on Wednesday, Marcos directed the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), through the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), to lead, coordinate, and supervise its week-long commemoration.

The NCDA is tasked to identify the programs, activities, and projects for the celebration.

All government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned or -controlled corporations, state universities, and colleges are directed to observe the celebration, while local government units, non-government organizations, and private sectors are encouraged to observe the same.

In issuing the Proclamation, Marcos said the Philippines has been committed to the purpose of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCPRD) to promote, protect, and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.

He also highlighted the need to amend Proclamations No. 1870 and 361 to be consistent with the purpose of the UNCPRD and to promote a rights-based approach on “National Disability Rights Week.”

Proclamation No. 1870 (s. 1979) declared the third week of July as the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week while Proclamation No. 361 (s. 2000) declared July 23 as the culmination of the NDPR Week, commemorating the birth of the Sublime Paralytic, Apolinario Mabini.

Darryl John Esguerra (PNA)