BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
PROCLAMATION NO. 157
DECLARING THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY AS “NATIONAL DOWN SYNDROME CONSCIOUSNESS MONTH”
WHEREAS, it is the policy of the state to provide priority for the needs of the underprivileged sick, elderly, disabled, women and children (Art XIII, Section ii, Philippine Constitution);
WHEREAS, the Republic of the Philippines recognizes that disabled children have the right to special care, education and training to help them enjoy full and decent lives in dignity and achieve the greatest degree of self-reliance and social integration possible (Art 23, Paragraph I, The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child);
WHEREAS, there are now hundreds of thousands of Filipino children with Down Syndrome, who are invariably suffering from genetic mental, physiological and physical disabilities;
WHEREAS, children with Down Syndrome deserve the dignity and respect from everyone and need the State’s mantle of protection against abuse, violence and public indifference;
WHEREAS, nationwide awareness of the Down Syndrome condition will immensely help in educating the public on the great potential that children with Down Syndrome possess to live normal lives;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby declare the month of February of 2002 and the month of February every year thereafter as the “National Down Syndrome Consciousness Month” under the auspices of the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Inc. For this purpose, the Department of Health, the Department of Education, the Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, other related agencies and appropriate NGOs are enjoined to extend their utmost support and cooperation in the commemoration of this event.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of the Philippines to be affixed.
DONE in the City of Manila, this 18th day of February, in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Two.
(Sgd.) GLORIA M. ARROYO
By the President:
(Sgd.) ALBERTO G. ROMULO