The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons with autism spectrum disorder. The ASP has been in the forefront of providing services and training to families living with autism.

29 November 2012

Philippine PWD Sector Prepares Parallel Report

By Ranil Sorongon, ASP Executive Director



In 2008, the Philippine Government ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Through the ratification, the CRPD form part of the law of the Philippines that must be implemented by all government agencies and instrumentalities as the “duty bearers”. The government is also mandated to monitor its implementation and to submit a report as stated in Article 35 of the convention to wit “Each State Party shall submit to the Committee, through the Secretary General of the United Nations, a comprehensive report on measures taken to give effect to its obligations under the present Convention and on the progress made in that regard, within two years after the entry into force of the present Convention for the State Party concerned”.

As the Philippine Government prepares its report, the sector of persons with disabilities took upon itself to organize the Philippine Coalition on the UN CRPD to also prepare a Parallel Report on the implementation and monitoring of the convention after its ratification in 2008. Through the support of the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and AusAID, coalition representatives underwent intensive education, trainings and exposure trips to be truly equipped in preparing the report. The group, headed by Mr. Lauro Purcil, the Lead Convenor conducted consultation-workshops around the country and distributed questionnaires to persons with disabilities as well as parents of children with disabilities to truly get the real situation of persons with disabilities.

With six consultations done in different parts of the country and more than 600 questionnaires answered by persons with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities, here are some personal observations:

1. After the 2008 ratification of the Philippine Government, not much has been done to improve the situation of persons with disabilities as well as the children with disabilities;

2. Philippine Laws need to be harmonized with the provisions of United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). Case in point is the definition of disability in Republic Act 7277 (Magna Carta of Disabled Persons) which is still based on the medical model;

3. Most persons with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities are not aware on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities UNCRPD). For those who are aware, majority don’t know about the provisions of the CRPD.

It’s a gigantic challenge to the Philippine Government as the “Duty Bearers” and the sector of persons with disabilities as the “Rights Holders” to work as a team to realize those rights. With the coming of the new Asia-Pacific Decade (2013-2022) of Persons with Disabilities (PWD), the sector is full of hope in welcoming a new dawn.

Autism Society Philippines labors to make the rights real of all persons with disabilities especially those with autism. ASP is one of the members of the Philippine Coalition on the CRPD. ASP is also the in charge for the consultation-workshop of parents of children with disabilities tentatively scheduled on February 8 to 10, 2013.

The coalition would like to extend its gratitude to Mr. Alex Cote (IDA Capacity Building Officer) for his guidance in the preparation of the report.


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