The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Cavite conducted a two-day training for its personnel with the theme “Friendship Beyond Gender and Listening through a Gender Lens and Seminar on Gender and Disability,” September 21-22, at Quest Hotel in Tagaytay City, Cavite.

During the second day, CvSU Gender and Development Resource Center Director Dr. Susan G. Tan led a session on Disability Awareness and Sensitivity. A realization activity was conducted at the beginning of Dr. Tan’s discussion wherein the participants were grouped into four, and were given 15 minutes to discuss the following questions:

  1. What does the word disability mean to you?
  2. What is your reaction when you see a person with a disability?
  3. What personal experience do you have with disability, either with your own lived experience, within your family, or in your community?

The four groups shared positive experiences with deaf family members, emphasizing that they did not feel undervalued. They viewed disability as a limitation in activities, while others defined it as a physical or mental condition with varying severity. They also advocated for celebrating accomplishments of people with disabilities, focusing on support for their families rather than pitying them.

Dr. Tan discussed disability awareness, emphasizing understanding disability issues, effective interactions, and individual needs. She talked about the discrimination faced by persons with disabilities (PWDs), especially in health services. Globally, 10% of the population has a disability, with women having a higher rate. In the Philippines, 12% experience severe disability, 47% moderate disability, and 41% mild disability.

Furthermore, Dr. Tan highlighted the lack of inclusion of PWDs and senior citizens in disaster planning by municipalities. She emphasized the need for disability awareness and accessibility audits in public buildings to assess PWD-friendliness. She also addressed misconceptions about disabilities and gave advice on interacting with PWDs, including direct communication, waiting for assistance, and treating them as equals.

Dr. Tan also mentioned the CSC MC 07 s. 2014 which encourages government agencies to hire PWDs in compliance with Republic Act No. 7277, reserving at least one percent of positions for PWDs. She concluded by emphasizing the primary goal of GAD trainings: justice and equality for all individuals in society. (JKRebutazo)

Dr. Susan G. Tan during the discussion
Pictures of the participants during the activity
Awarding of certificate to Dr. Susan G. Tan (left) with PSA-Cavite Chief Statistical Specialist Ms. Lucia Iraida A. Soneja (right)