Press Release
March 21, 2020


Today, we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day not just to raise awareness about the syndrome but more especially, for all of us to show our solidarity in facilitating programs for the empowerment, personal growth and meaningful participation of persons with this condition.

With this year's theme, "'We Decide': all people with Down Syndrome should have full participation in decision-making about matters relating to, or affecting, their lives," we are called upon to pave the way for a better future and dignified life for them.

As Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development and as a mother and grandmother of children with autism, it is all the more that I advocate for the well-being of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). I urge the government to exhaust all efforts in providing equal protection for them to ensure that they are free from abuse and discrimination.

According to a 2016 study by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), there are 3.3 million children with disabilities in the Philippines. Just think: How many of them are also homeless and do not have access to proper care, nutrition, health services and education?

This is why as part of our effort to establish institutional and social mechanisms to support persons with developmental disabilities and their families, I filed Senate Bill No. 855, instituting a national comprehensive program for the prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of persons with autism and other developmental disabilities.

May krisis man o wala, huwag sana nating kalimutan silang nangangailangan ng higit na pang-unawa at kalinga. Patuloy po natin silang mahalin, arugain, bigyang lakas at pag-asang paunlarin ang sarili upang maging kapaki-pakinabang na bahagi rin ng komunidad at lipunan.


PNP Custodial Center, Camp Crame

21 March 2020

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