PH observes ‘autism week’ until Jan 30; CHR urges support for afflicted persons

Published January 25, 2022, 11:03 AM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki


The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) urges government agencies to strengthen their services and medical assistance to individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

The call was aired as the country observes the “National Autism Consciousness Week” from Jan. 24 to Jan. 30 with the theme “Nurturing Public-Private Alliances towards an Autism-OK Philippines.”

In justifying the issuance of Proclamation No. 711 on Jan. 4, 1996 on the observance of “autism consciousness week,” then President Fidel V. Ramos took note of the “growing incidence of autism among Filipinos, necessitating more people from different sectors to become aware of this disability.”

ASD affects an individual’s means of communication, interaction, and behavior. While the number of cases of autism in the country has been increasing every year, the stigma and discrimination against them still continue to this day, the CHR said in its social media post.

The commission stressed that Filipinos need to develop more awareness, fair understanding, and sincere support for people with ASD so that they can live with dignity and equal opportunity.

Through the observance, the CHR also hopes that “people would better recognize and focus on the challenges faced by people who have ASD.”

“Support for people with ASD is especially important in the midst of a pandemic,” it pointed out.

“Alinsunod rin sa tema ng pagdiriwang, mahalagang may kaakibat na kampanya laban sa diskriminasyon at stigma sa autism sa pamamagitan ng mas pina-igting na information at education campaign ukol sa naturang kundisyon, (Also in line with the theme of the observance, it is important to have a campaign that would fight discrimination and stigma against autism through intensified information and education campaigns),” the CHR said.

“Sikapin nating magtulungan para magkaroon ng mas bukas na kamalayan, wastong pagtingin, at sinserong suporta para sa mga taong nasa autism spectrum, (Let’s work together to have a more open awareness, fair understanding, and sincere support for people on the autism spectrum),” it added.