Government agencies not hiring enough PWDs

Published by rudy Date posted on April 23, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – Government agencies have been providing limited jobs to persons with disabilities (PWD) despite existing laws mandating them to allocate five percent of all casual, emergency and contractual positions for PWDs, according to various non-government organizations.

Johnny Lantion, general manager of the National Federation of Cooperatives of Persons with Disabilities (NFCPWD), said only one percent of about one million “employable” PWDs are working.

Lantion said Republic Act 7277 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons states that “five percent of all casual, emergency and contractual positions in the Departments of Social Welfare and Development; Health; Education; and other government agencies, offices or corporations engaged in social development shall be reserved for disabled persons.”

Joy Garcia, chief operations officer of the Tahanang Walang Hagdanan Inc., lamented that the government is not “strongly” implementing the law, especially in providing equal employment rights to PWDs.

A group of women with disabilities in the Philippines also claimed that the government is the no. 1 violator of the law.

NOVA Foundation, Inc. president Manuel Agcaoili said that the “employers in the Philippines still focus on the person’s disabilities.”

“I think we should try, with the help of media, to make employers understand that they should not look at their disabilities,” he said.

Agcaoili said they have been providing free skills training for PWDs and some of them have been employed as medical transcriptionists.

“We have pilot-tested a program to provide an online training for orthopedically-impaired individuals and of the 25 we have initially trained, 14 are now employed as transcriptionists,” he said.

He said most visually impaired individuals, particularly those who graduated from high school, have the necessary qualifications to be employed as call center agents.

Kosei Saito, chairman of the Workability International Asia, said that in Japan there should be one PWD in every 56 employees.

Saito said any company who violates this faces a fine of ¥50,000. –- Helen Flores and Evelyn Macairan, Philippine Star

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