MANILA—The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) stressed the need to take account of persons with disabilities and their contribution to development processes. 

Citing the need to look into different dimensions of poverty and deprivation, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan urged high-ranking officials from different countries to place greater attention to persons with disabilities. 

Balisacan said progress of targeted programs for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been inadequate in terms of benefits for persons with disabilities. 

“Equal participation in economic, social and political life can contribute to inclusive growth. Thus, it is very important to ensure that in the post-2015 development framework, no sector of society shall be left behind,” the Cabinet official said during a roundtable discussion he co-chaired. 

The event, held at the UN Headquarters in New York City was part of the UN’s High-level Meeting on Realization of the MDGs and other Internationally-Agreed Development Goals for Persons with Disabilities. 

“Multiple approaches should be used in reaching out the diverse population of persons with disabilities as well as their families. Furthermore, special attention must be given to those with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities who often experience heightened levels of marginalization,” said Balisacan. 

Balisacan urged officials and development partners to look into the challenges facing this initiative. These include the need to generate disability-specific data, to increase awareness of gender and disability issues and perspectives, and to address human resource inadequacies as well as financial and technical constraints. 

He added that there should be greater coordination amongst the various actors involved in a given development initiative. 

“We see the need to further strengthen international cooperation and support domestic efforts to realize internationally-agreed development goals leading to 2015 and beyond for persons with disabilities,” said Balisacan. 

Meanwhile, Balisacan also cited the UN’s adoption of an outcome document that already identifies concrete actions to promote disability-inclusive development. The document is a culmination of a year-long preparation involving online, national and regional consultations and extensive negotiations among member states. 

“The Philippines hopes that the document will galvanize us UN member states, agencies, civil society, academia, private sector, among others to implement the needed and urgent actions while forging stronger collaboration and partnership,” he said.