Recognizing the need to improve the access of employment opportunities for persons with disability (PWDs), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) expresses its full support to strengthen the implementation of the Republic Act (RA) No. 10524 or the act requiring government agencies and the private sector to allot at least 1% of their positions reserved for PWDs.

“In a society where people prioritize a fast-paced work environment, one of the sectors that often experience exclusion and discrimination are the PWDs,” explained DSWD Secretary Virginia N. Orogo.

“We need to break this stereotype because PWDs are one of the productive members of the Filipino labor force. Here in the DSWD, we are proud to say that we have 237 PWD personnel who can provide reliable and dedicated service that are similar to our able-bodied personnel,” she said.

“It is stated in the law that we need to ensure that PWDs are provided the equal employment opportunities and this could be done by creating an enabling environment for them to enhance their skills and overall well-being,” Sec. Orogo added.

“May 1% Ka Ba?” Campaign

Secretary Orogo endorsed her support to the “May 1% Ka Ba? campaign of the Unilab Foundation and the Asia Foundation to ensure that  PWDs are provided with equal employment opportunities.

The campaign aims to raise public awareness on RA 10524, and to engage government agencies and private companies to provide jobs  for PWDs through documentation of  success stories in the workplace and capacitating PWDs to enhance their employability.

The campaign is also supported by other government agencies including the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), Civil Service Commission (CSC), and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

Empowering PWDs in vocational centers

As one of the agencies supporting RA 10524, the DSWD provides skills training to PWDs in its non-residential facilities to assist them to become productive members of the society.

For the first semester of 2018, the Department has served 671 clients in its non-residential facilities for PWDs, namely: the National Vocational Rehabilitation Center (NVRC) and Rehabilitation Sheltered Workshop both located in Quezon City, Area Vocational Rehabilitation Centers (AVRCs) found in the provinces of Dagupan City, Cebu City, and Zamboanga City, and the Center for Handicapped located in Cotabato City.

These facilities provide programs and services such as social, medical and psychological services, livelihood and vocational skills training, job placement, sheltered employment, and capability building activities which are geared towards the socio-economic independence and productivity enhancement of PWDs.

“The DSWD is focused on providing programs and services to respond to the needs of the PWD sector. We hope that we are not alone in this endeavour because we need other members of the government and the private sector to eliminate the barriers that hinder our PWDs to live in an environment that looks beyond their disabilities and focuses on their abilities,” the Secretary ended. ###