Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has assured persons with disabilities (PWDs) of livelihood opportunities as the government boosts its programs to protect their rights and promote their economic empowerment.
The Labor secretary made the commitment during the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week at the Employers Forum on Disability Inclusive Employment held in Manila, recently.
“Given the government’s commitment under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability and the department’s agenda on achieving inclusive growth and decent work for all, we shall continue to bring hope to all PWDs by providing them employment and livelihood opportunities,” Bello said.
Bello also said the government aims to promote awareness of the rights of PWDs, particularly the right to equal access to employment opportunities, and encourage more private establishments to open doors of opportunity to PWDs.
Under Republic Act No. 10524, at least 1 percent of all positions to all government agencies, offices, or corporations shall be reserved for PWDs. On the other hand, private corporations with more than 100 employees are encouraged to reserve at least 1 percent of all positions for PWDs.
“I am very happy that private companies heed the call of including PWDs in their workforce. I hope that more employers will do the same,” Bello said.
He said that there are currently about 270 companies with published job vacancies for PWDs.
Apart from wage employment, the government also capacitates PWDs through livelihood undertakings under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program.
For the first quarter of 2019 alone, a total of 1,900 PWDs were granted livelihood assistance amounting to P1.51 million. This is aside from the 19,206 PWDs who benefited from DILEEP from 2008 to 2018.
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