Country Profile: Philippines



Human development index (for 2005)
Human development index rank  90 (UNDP 2007)
GDP per capital (PPP) $5 137 (UNDP 2007)
Life Expectancy at birth (years) 71.0 (UNDP 2007)
Combined gross enrolment ratio for primary, secondary and tertiary education  81.1 per cent (UNDP 2007)
Total population mid-2007 88 462 000 (United Nations 2006)
Population of persons with disabilities 942 000 (Philippines 2005)
Proportion of persons with disabilities to total population 1.23 per cent (Philippines 2005)
definition of disability  “(1) [A] physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more psychological, physiological or anatomical function of an individual or activities of such individual;
(2) a record of such an impairment;
or (3) being regarded as having such an impairment.” (Philippines 1991, sect. 4(c))
definition of persons with disabilities “[T]hose suffering from restriction or different abilities, as a result of a mental, physical or sensory impairment, to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.” (Philippines 1991, Section 4(a))
Employment rate of persons with disabilities Not available (ESCAP 2006, Q 12.1)
Access to education  3 to 5 per cent (ADB 2005)
Institutional framework
National coordination mechanism or disability focal point  National Council on Disability Affairs, established in 2008, attached to the Office of the President (ESCAP 2006 Q 1)
Number of members and composition of the mechanism Governing Body and the Secretariat, including representatives from 12 government departments and agencies, and 6 individuals representing disabled people’s organizations and other NGOs (ESCAP 2006 Q1)
Legislative and policy framework
Mention on disability in constitution   “[T]he Congress shall provide a system for securing the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot as well as a system for absentee voting by qualified Filipinos abroad.The Congress shall also design a procedure for the disabled and the illiterates to vote without the assistance of other persons. Until then, they shall be allowed to vote under existing laws and such rules as the Commission on Elections may promulgate to protect the secrecy of the ballot.” (Philippines 1987, art. 5, sect. 2)“[T]he State shall adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development which shall endeavor to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all the people at affordable cost. There shall be priority for the needs of the underprivileged, sick, elderly, disabled, women, and children. The State shall endeavor to provide free medical care to paupers.” (Philippines 1987, art. 13, sect. 11)
                                                                                Mandates the establishment of a special agency for persons with disabilities (currently National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons) for their rehabilitation development and self-reliance, integration into the mainstream of society (Philippines 1987, art. 13, sect. 13)
comprehensive disability law Republic Act No. 7277, An Act Providing for the Rehabilitation, Self Development and Self-Reliance of Disabled Persons and Their Integration into the Mainstream of Society and for other Purposes (the “Magna Carta for Disabled Persons”) (Philippines 1991)
Disabilitiy-specific anti discrimination law Republic Act No. 7277, An Act Providing for the Rehabilitation, Self Development and Self-Reliance of Disabled Persons and Their Integration into the Mainstream of Society and for other Purposes (the “Magna Carta for Disabled Persons”) (Philippines 1991)
Sectoral disbility laws Cover: education; employment; rehabilitation; health; building code; transportation; poverty alleviation; social security/social welfare (ESCAP 2006, Q 8(i))

National plan of action on disability  National Plan of Action for the Philippine Decade of Persons with Disabilities (2003-2012) (ESCAP 2006, Q 2(ii))
National efforts to promote an Inclusive Society
Employment quota scheme  “Five per cent (5%) of all casual, emergency and contractual positions in the Department of Social Welfare and Development; Health Education, Culture and Sports; and other government agencies, offices or corporations engaged in social development shall be reserved for disabled persons.” (Philippines 1991, sect. 5)b
National accessibility standard Batas Pambansa BLG. 344, An Act to Enhance the Mobility of Disabled Persons by Requiring Certain Buildings, Institutions, Establishments, and Public Utilities to Install Facilities and Other Devices (Philippines 1982)c
Standardized sign language  Yes (ESCAP 2006, Q 19.1)
ICT accessibility guideline No response provided (ESCAP 2006, Qs 17.1, 18.1)
Financial commitment 
Proportion of disability (social) spending to GDP or entire national budget Not Available 
Annual budget allocated to the national coordination mechanism Average of 30 million Philippine pesos per year (ESCAP 2006, Q 1(ii))
Commitment to regional and international instruments on disability
Signatory to the Proclamation of the Decade Decade 1993 (ESCAP 2004b)
Ratification of ILO Convention159 23 August 1991 (ILO 2009)
Ratification or signatiory of the conventions on the Rights of Person with Disabilities, and its Optional Protocol Signed the Convention on 25 September 2007; Ratified the Convention on 15 April 2008 (United Nations 2009)
* The Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan, 2004-2012 includes in chapter 12 disability concerns responding to the basic needs of the poor, and the protection of the vulnerable (Philippines 2004). The Philippines declared the Philippine Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2003-2012 on August 21, 2002 with the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons as lead agency in the observance and formulation of a national plan for the Decade.
** This quota scheme is currently being revised and will be applied to permanent positions as well.
*** Currently being revised.