The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continues to push for inclusive development for persons with disabilities (PWDs) through its support for persons with autism (PWAs) during the kick off celebration of the National Autism Consciousness Week (NACW), led by the Autism Society Philippines (ASP), at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena yesterday.
For this year, the celebration, slated from February 5 to 11, calls to build an autism-global society that enables PWAs to enjoy equal opportunities and rights to become independent and productive members of the society through its theme, “Onwards to an Autism-OK ASEAN.”
During the event’s opening program, representatives from international and diplomatic community, the private sector, and national government agencies including DSWD Undersecretary for Promotive Programs Ma. Lourdes Turalde-Jarabe, delivered messages of support to the PWA community.
“We will definitely push in the Philippine Development Plan that the rights and welfare of PWDs and persons with autism will be promoted and protected by the Duterte administration,” affirmed Usec. Turalde-Jarabe.
After the program, the DSWD delegation, led by Usec. Turalde-Jarabe and Protective Services Bureau (PSB) Director Ma. Alicia Bonoan, marched with thousands of advocates during the “Angels Walk for Autism” around the SM MOA complex to support for the awareness, acceptance and inclusion of PWAs in the society.
Meanwhile, DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo expressed her support to the advocacy and said that the Department and the current administration will ensure that concrete programs and services will be allotted to PWDs and PWAs.
“As the chair for this year’s ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC), the DSWD will continue to champion the rights and welfare of PWDs in ASEAN by pushing for concrete measures that promote their inclusive growth. We aim to incorporate discussions on how to address the programs and policy gaps for PWDs within the ASEAN Community and how we can establish stronger platforms to ensure that education, employment, medical needs and facilities are accessible to PWDs and are prioritized by all member-countries,” Sec. Taguiwalo said. ###