Human Rights Council: 43rd Regular Session

28 February 2020, Salle XX, Palais des Nations

Agenda Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the

Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Speaking time: 1 min. 30 sec.

Thank you, Mister Vice-President.

The Philippines thanks the Special Rapporteur for her report. With regard to her recommendation on reforms toward the acceptance of disability, the Philippines has progressively taken concrete measures to respond to the differentiated needs and concern of almost 1.6 million persons with disability in the country.

In 1992, the Philippines enacted the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities. The country’s accession to CRPD in 2008 further reinforced the recognition of and empowerment of persons with disabilities as rights holders. In 2012, the Philippines enacted a law establishing polling precincts accessible to persons with disabilities and, in 2016, a law that expanded their privileges and benefits.

In 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Mental Health Act mandating state support for persons with mental health conditions. Efforts are ongoing to strengthen the Accessibility Law to properly address physical and communication and technology barriers. The government convened the First National Disability Summit in September last year to foster greater participation of civil society and all concerned stakeholders in monitoring the implementation of the CRPD.

The SR reported that ableist positions dominate debates on bioethics and disability. May we ask her views on containing ableism and incorporating socially and culturally diverse and complex views and approaches especially toward prenatal testing?

Thank you, Mister Vice-President. END