By Roi Lomotan
NEGROS ORIENTAL (PIA) – Officials from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Commission of Human Rights (CHR) discussed the rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) as well as laws covering them during the Provincial Convention of PWDs held recently in Dumaguete City.
The event is part of the celebration of the 38th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week from July 17 to 23 this year with the theme “Karapatan ng may Kapansanan Isakatuparan… Now na!”
DSWD-Negros Island Region (NIR) Planning Officer Randy Dogmoc came in behalf of DSWD-NIR Director Shalaine Marie Lucero and discussed the laws for PWDs specifically R.A. 7277 and R.A. 10524 which grant equal employment opportunities for PWDs.
Based on R.A. 7277, five percent of all casual, emergency and contractual positions in DSWD, Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Health (DOH), and other government agencies or corporations engaged in social development shall be reserved for disabled persons.
The law also states that “a qualified employee with disability shall be subject to the same terms and conditions of employment and the same compensation, privileges, benefits, fringe benefits, incentives or allowances as a qualified able bodied person.”
Furthermore, Dogmoc emphasized that Section 5 of R.A. 10524 also states that “at least one percent of all positions in all government agencies, offices or corporal ions shall be reserved for persons with disability: provided, that private corporations with more than one hundred employees are encouraged to reserve at least one percent of all positions for persons with disability.”
However, the DSWD official said this part of the law needs more lobbying so that more agencies and companies will be more aware of this.
Dogmoc believes agencies will comply with the law if PWD organizations will talk to heads of agencies and discuss this part of the law and present legal documents supporting this mandate of the law.
On the other hand, CHR-Negros Oriental Head Jess Cañete pointed out that PWDs must enjoy the same rights and privileges provided by the law to normal persons.
He, however, cited that PWDs should be given priority in the government’s development programs.
“You should not be in the backseat in lieu of government programs,” he said.
With this, Cañete assured that the CHR will stand beside PWDs and will continue to defend their rights against those who discriminate them.
He gave his commitment that his office will give importance to PWDs who will come to his office.
Cañete then commended the organizers of the event saying this will help promote the welfare of PWDs. (rmn/ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental/This article was originally published at PI Website on Aug. 1, 2016)