In an effort to institutionalize inclusion in disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM), government agencies, civil society organizations, service providers, academicians and persons with disabilities will unite for a National Conference on Disability Inclusive DRR (#DiDRRNatCon) come October 11-13 at Golden Prince Hotel, Cebu City.
Organized by the Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP), in collaboration with the National Council for Disability Affairs (NCDA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Conference would be joined by more than 200 participants from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The Provincial Government of Cebu and the City Government of Cebu will host this confab in partnership with the Research Group for Alternatives to Development (A2D Project).
The conference with the theme, Inclusion begins with I, will tackle pressing issues that affect persons with disabilities before, during and after disasters and identify measures for policy development and institutionalization at the local and national levels. Said issues have been identified during the regional consultations on DiDRR held earlier this year.
According to the consultations, some of the issues that affect persons with disabilities include limited participation of persons with disabilities and lack or absence of accurate data which makes them “unheard, unseen and unaccounted for.”
Ms. Carmen Zubiaga, NCDA executive director, will present the results of the regional consultations which will serve as springboard in identifying action points for DiDRR.
The conference also showcases panel discussions on institutional mechanisms on DiDRR, Disabled People’s Organizations (DPO) initiatives and efforts and updates on the RA 10121.
As a key highlight of this historic gathering, duty-bearers, stakeholders and persons with disability would sign a National Declaration which will serve as a framework for action to institutionalize DiDRR.
Government data reveals that there are more than 15.5 million people living with disability in the Philippines. They experience a multitude of social barriers including poverty and discrimination that hinders their holistic development. Accordingly, disasters further aggravate the state of persons with disability due to their lack of preparedness capacities and strong mechanisms that would ensure their inclusion and protection.