SENATE BILL TO HIGHLIGHT PWDS’ PRODUCTIVE ROLE IN THE SOCIETY
An effort to strengthen the participation of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in the workforce is underway as Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV filed a bill to amend Republic Act (R.A.) 7277 – Magna Carta for Disabled Persons. It aims to provide more job opportunities for PWDs in both the government and private sectors.
Filed on November 21, 2016, under the 17th Congress, Senate Bill No. 1249 aims to increase the number of positions reserved for the disabled by improving the current allocation of one percent to at least two percent. It is currently pending for review at the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, and Finance after its first reading on November 28, 2016.
According to the Philippine Senate’s press release on Sunday, Senate Bill No. 1249 seeks to guarantee the inclusion of PWDs in the workforce and their enjoyment of the same benefits and employment terms received by other qualified employees.
AMENDING CURRENT PROVISIONS OF R.A. 7277
The current provisions of RA 7277 state that government agencies must provide one percent of regular and non-regular positions to disabled persons. Private companies with over 100 employees are encouraged to allocate one percent of their job positions to PWD workers. Senate Bill No. 1249, however, seeks to improve the situation of both public and private work sectors.
“Through this legislation, the government offices will be mandated to ensure that two percent of their employees comprise of PWDs whereas private organizations will be required to employ a workforce, at least 1% of which is made up of PWDs,” he said.
Once passed into law, concerned agencies such as the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Health (DOH), and other related government agencies will develop the rules and regulations for its effective implementation.
In the bill’s explanatory note, it explains the future of the disabled to participate in a meaningful and productive society. Senator Aquino states that increased PWD presence in all sectors of the workforce will raise public awareness and consideration for the rights of PWDs.
“As we forge onward in building the nation better and stronger, we must take the necessary steps to ensure that we are building an inclusive society where no sector is left behind from the gains of development,” he said.