Three entrepreneurs in Dumaguete City honored for hiring PWDs

by Roi Lomotan

Sunday 21st of July 2013

DUMAGUETE CITY, July 21 (PIA) — Three entrepreneurs in Dumaguete City were given recognition by a non-government organization (NGO) for hiring Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

Quota International-Dumaguete Chapter, a NGO that advocates human development, awarded certificates of recognition to Trinidad Bustamante, owner of Sans Rival cakes and pastries, Engr. Gregorio Uymatiao, owner of Uymatiao Construction and Cristina Rodriguez of Jill’s Dress Shop for giving employment opportunities to PWDs.

Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries which is famous for its delicious sylvannas and sans rival has three deaf employees working as commissaries in their store.

The Uymatiao Construction used to have five deaf workers but was reduced to two because of the dangers posed by the construction business. Jill’s Dress shop, on the other hand, has one deaf worker.

Ms. Nida Wu of the Quota-Dumaguete and a pioneer founder also of Autism Society Philippines-Dumaguete Chapter said the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities states that private and government institutions should reserve five percent of their workforce to PWDs on either casual or contractual work status.

She also added that in support to employers hiring PWDs they can get 25 percent rebate from the government for the salary they give to their PWD employees.

This claim is supported by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

Giovanni Macalino from BIR district office here said the 25 percent rebate to employers can be an advantage for PWDs in applying for a job.

Macalino said, the BIR indirectly supports the PWDs by supporting institutions that cater them especially when claiming their deductions on their tax payment.

With this mandate of the law, Wu hopes that more employers would be encouraged to open job opportunities for PWDs.(mbcn/RAL/PIA7-NEGOR)

Negros Oriental PIOs attend briefing on disaster preparedness

DUMAGUETE CITY, July 20 (PIA) – Members of the Association of Negros Oriental Public Information Officers (Anopio) had a briefing on disaster risk reduction management under Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Negros Oriental Head Allen Cabaron on July 18 at the PIA-NegOr provincial Information Center.

“Disaster is a reflection of people’s vulnerability,” Cabaron told the members of Anopio.

Cabaron presented to them the framework of a Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plan (DRRMP) that included four components which are disaster prevention, preparedness, rehabilitation and recovery.

“Disasters will only happen if hazards and vulnerabilities meet. It could be mitigated if the local government has the exact capabilities,” Cabaron said.

Cabaron noted that the government cannot do anything with the hazards brought by natural calamities but it can manage the vulnerabilities by crafting a concrete DRRMP.

In crafting the DRRMP, there should be a participatory planning. It is a bottom-up planning approach which involves the community especially the barangay level up to the local government unit (LGU) in coming up with disaster preparedness measures.

The head of the OCD in Negros Oriental said, barangay resident and officials should participate in the planning process since it is them who can identify the risks post by natural calamities in their area.

He also clarified that it is the barangay officials who are the first responders in times of disasters. The LGU comes in as support to the barangay.

Aside from this, Cabaron asks the municipal and provincial information officers, to help in explaining the disaster preparedness programs of the government to their constituents.

“Preparedness is about conducting information campaign, training and equipping the community with knowledge and skills when it comes to disaster response,” Cabaron said.

Also part of DRRM plan is the establishment of Operation Centers during times of Disaster. In Negros Oriental, the towns of Siaton, Bayawan, Dumaguete City and the provincial government that have already established their respective operation centers.

Meanwhile, Cabaron also emphasized that having a DRRMP is essential in keeping the development of a town or city.

“There is a direct link between disaster and development,” Cabaron stressed.

He encouraged municipal information officers to urge their local chief executives to balance development projects with disaster risk reduction management measures.

The Anopio briefing was part of the celebration of National Disaster Consciousness Month which carries the theme “Ligtas na bayan, maunlad na pamayanan.”

Anopio is comprised of information officers from the different towns and cities in Negros Oriental as well as information officers from national and provincial government agencies here. (mbcn/RAL/PIA7-NEGOR)

Job opportunities for PWDs assured

By Roi Lomotan

Friday 19th of July 2013

DUMAGUETE CITY, July 19 (PIA) – Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) are assured of job opportunities in both government and private institutions.Founding member of Autism Society Philippines-Dumaguete Chapter, Ms. Nida Wu said the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability states that institutions should include PWDs in the five percent of their workforce as casual or contractual employees.

Moreover, the newly signed Republic Act 10524 mandates government agencies and Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) to reserve one percent of their regular position for PWDs.

In contrast, employers hiring PWDs can get support from the government.

“Employers can get 25 percent rebate every year for the salary they give to their PWD employee,” Wu said.

Wu hopes that more companies and agencies would open job opportunities for PWDs. She believes employment opportunities will be a big help to empower them.

Meanwhile, in behalf of the government agencies in Negros Oriental, Social Security System (SSS) Dumaguete Branch Head Lilani Bustamante assured PWDs can work in government institutions.

“We are treating you like us. If you can afford to be (working with us) and as long as you meet the qualification then why not?” Bustamante said.

Bustamante also said that PWDs can become members of SSS as long as they are capable of working in private institutions or self employed.

She also disclosed SSS’ programs concerning PWDs such as partial and full disability benefits, sick leave benefits, maternal leave benefits and dependence allowance.

Bustamante explained that its dependence allowance is for SSS pensioners with PWD dependents. SSS will continue to give monetary allowance to the dependent even if he/she is beyond 21 years old.

Aside from SSS membership and benefits, PWDs can also get medical support from the PhilHealth apart from the 20 percent discount from dental and medical services.

All of the mentioned government programs aim to provide development opportunities for PWDs and to build a more PWD-friendly environment.

Wu and Bustamante highlighted employment benefits for PWDs with representatives of PhilHealth, Bureau of Internal Revenue and the City Prosecutors Office over a Kapihan sa PIA here marking the celebration of National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week which carries the theme: “Building a Inclusive and Non-Handicapping Environment for PWDs.”

Before the start of the forum Dumaguete City Administrator William Ablong gave a statement emphasizing the role of PWDs in the society.

“We are but one body. Our city is one body. You are not liabilities but assets. You have a big thing to contribute on the society,” Ablong said. (mbcn/RAL/PIA7-NEGOR)