CBM partners with women leaders to create movement of change for disability

Stories | March 31, 2022

If you’ve got evidence, it is the springboard for action to create movement of change for disability.

That’s why we are supporting the establishment of a federation of disability organisations in the Philippines to collect comprehensive data related to disability inequalities. What proportion of people with severe impairments are getting the needed access to government health care? Are families who care for a person with a disability getting the pensions they are entitled to? During ‘cyclone season’ in the Philippines, are people with disabilities getting the same emergency relief as people without disabilities?

Interestingly, all local governments (LGAs) in the Philippines are mandated to spend around 10% of their budget on disability issues. But that doesn’t happen most of the time. Why? On occasion, LGAs don’t know how these funds are best spent. Sometimes it is because there is no one monitoring this and keeping them accountable. Solid evidence of what people with disabilities need provides good direction for planning. 

Kicking off this year, CBM is supporting women leaders from Organisations of People with Disability (OPDs) to establish a national federation of people with disabilities, with a mandate of ensuring that disability inclusion is considered in government planning, policy-making, and budgeting. Current national laws mandate that a Disability Affairs Office is established in every local community. This generally doesn’t happen, and this means OPDs struggle to have a say on important issues that affect people with disabilities locally. As a result, it has devastating effects on health, livelihoods, education, and emergency responses when vulnerable groups are left behind.

This call for inclusion of people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups is a growing concern across the country.

Five things we hope to achieve:

  • Strengthening the capacity of a national-level OPD federation to advocate for meaningful change.
  • Collect quality data to support policy reforms, inclusive budgeting, and programming.
  • Empowerment of people with disabilities to actively engage with their local governance to push for inclusive communities in the next five years.
  • Strengthen the OPD federation so that it functions effectively and is managed well.
  • Inclusive disaster preparedness and response plans are integrated into every community to protect people with disabilities and vulnerable groups.

We’ll keep you posted on progress.

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