By Ferdinand Patinio

(File photo)

MANILA – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday reminded employers to uphold the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs) to make workplaces more inclusive.

The Department issued the reminder ahead of the observance of the 45th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week from July 17 to 23.

In Labor Advisory No. 15, the DOLE urged companies to promote laws, policies and programs that will integrate PWDs into mainstream society.

It also reminded establishments to “provide equal opportunity for employment (private corporations with more than 100 employees are encouraged to reserve at least one percent [1 percent] of all positions for persons with disabilities);”

The DOLE urged companies to prohibit discrimination against a qualified person by reason of disability in regard to job application, hiring, job training, promotion, compensation or discharge of employees, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment;

The companies are asked to secure barrier-free environment to have access to public and private buildings per Batas Pambansa Bilang 344, otherwise known as “An Act to Enhance the Mobility of Disabled Persons by Requiring Certain Buildings, Institutions, Establishments and Public Utilities to install Facilities and Other Devices.”

Likewise, the employers were urged to facilitate PWDs’ access to express lanes in all commercial and government establishments; in the absence thereof, priority shall be given to them.

It also called on companies to support, protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities.

This year’s NDPR celebration carries the theme “Persons with Disabilities Accessibility and Rights: Towards A Sustainable Future where No One is Left Behind (Aksesibilidad at Karapatan ng mga Taong may Kapansanan: Daan tungo sa Sustenableng Kinabukasan na Walang Maiiwan).” (PNA)