By Roi Lomotan
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)