MANILA (Mabuhay) — Most offices in the public and the private sectors have continued to shy away from hiring persons with disabilities despite a law requiring that one percent of all positions be reserved for them, a lawmaker said.
DIWA party-list Representative Emmeline Y. Aglipay-Villar said this aversion to hiring PWDs defeats the purpose of Republic Act 7277, or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, as she urged the House of Representatives to direct the Department of Labor and Employment, Civil Service Commission, National Council on Disability Affairs, Governance Commission for Government-Owned or Controlled Corporations, Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development and Bureau of Internal Revenue to submit a joint comprehensive report on the implementation of the law.
“The joint comprehensive report would enable Congress to formulate an efficient and systematic national scheme of integrating people with disability into the mainstream of society by adopting policies that would ensure their rehabilitation, self-development and self-reliance,” Aglipay-Villar said.
Despite the law, “observations and reports from the private and public sectors show that Section 5, Letters B and C of Section 8 and Section 11 of Republic Act 7277, as amended by Republic Act 9442, as amended by Republic Act 19524, are not properly implemented since most offices, both from the private and public sectors, continue to shy away from employing persons with disability,” she noted.
Aside from the one percent allocation in available positions, the law also entitles private firms that hire PWDs, whether as regular workers, apprentices or learners, to an additional deduction from their gross income equivalent to 25 percent of the salaries and wages they pay the PWDs.
It also grants firms that improve their physical facilities to accommodate PWDs an additional deduction from their net taxable income equivalent to 50 percent of the direct costs of the improvements. (MNS)