This year, Handicap International (HI), as part of the national organizing committee for the celebration of the 2016 National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week, joined other organizations and agencies in identifying activities for the said event.
They decided to conduct an orientation on disability inclusive disaster risk reduction (DIDRR) that aimed to inform DRR actors, disability sectors and relevant stakeholders on how to include disability in disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) action. The discussions focused on the best DIDRR practices of different organizations and agencies in the Philippines.
The Quezon City Government headed by Mayor Herbert Bautista, through the Persons with Disability Affairs Office of Quezon City (QC PDAO), partnered with HI to spearhead the activity. The DIDRR orientation was attended by more than 120 participants composed of the city’s persons with disability leaders, parents of children with disability, barangay captains and officials, barangay focal persons on disability, City DRRM Council members and city government officials.
Edward Ello, Inclusion Advisor, represented HI and collaborated with QC PDAO Head Arnold De Guzman in organizing the event. Furthermore, on the event itself, Edward shared the international and local legal frameworks of inclusive community-based disaster risk reduction and management (ICBDRRM). He served as the host and facilitator of the event as well.
Moreover, Carissa Galla, DRR Advisor of HI, gave an overview of the Lahat Handa – an ICBDRRM training manual developed by a technical working group in the frame of HI’s “Strengthening the Capacity of Local Government Units and Vulnerable Households in Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (Inclusive DRR)” Project.
Lahat Handa supplements the CBDRRM Basic Instructor’s Guide (BIG) Manual of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council-Office of Civil Defense (NDRRMC-OCD) and integrates inclusive approaches to CBDRRM. It promotes the rights and capacities of persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups including children, the youth and older persons.
Also presenting their organizations’ best practices were Dr. Maureen Ava Mata of Tahanang Walang Hagdan and WOW LEAP, Ira Largoza of Philippine Coordinating Center for Inclusive Development and Shereen Lucas of NDRRMC-OCD.
At the end of the activity, QC PDAO announced that consequent activities with the participants will be conducted in the future to further promote inclusion. One activity identified by the QC PDAO is the conduct of Lahat Handa training sessions. Details of these training sessions will be communicated as soon as they finalize the schedule and other concerns, said QC PDAO Head Arnold De Guzman.
Since 2000, the Philippines has been celebrating the NDPR Week during 17-23 July in recognition of Apolinario Mabini’s valuable contributions in nation building during his time. Mabini is often referred to as the “Sublime Paralytic” who served as Emilio Aguinaldo’s chief adviser during the Philippine Revolution. He was also the prime minister and secretary of foreign affairs from January to May 1899 when Aguinaldo became the president of the Philippines.
Mabini has paraplegia (paralysis of both legs), hence his nickname. But despite his physical difficulties, Mabini made exceptional contributions in nation building through his brilliance. NDPR Week culminates on his birth date, 23 July.
The yearly celebration of the NDPR Week was formalized with the aim of raising “public awareness on the problems of disability and encourage every citizen to take active responsibility in the upliftment of the economic and social conditions [of persons with disabilities] of our society,” (Proclamation No. 361, Office of the President of the Philippines).