EO opens equal chance for PWDs

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Sunday, August 3, 2014


PERSONS with disabilities are now even more assured of equal opportunities to become economically competent like normal able-bodied persons.

Baguio City Federation of Persons with Disabliities president Avelino Tomas expressed confidence with the implementation of the National Council on Disability Affairs' Executive Order 417, PWDs will no longer be left behind.

In a recent press conference, Tomas expressed gratitude on all the efforts of agencies and people who continue to make efforts to ensure their well-being.

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"We appreciate all your efforts and sacrifices," he said.

Although there are still concerns on the employment status of the PWDs, Tomas hopes the implementation of the executive order will rub out all the discrimination of PWDs.

Executive Order 417 directs the implementation of Economic Independence Program for PWDs.

With the recently signed Implementing Rules and Regulations, all government agencies and state-run corporations recognize the rights of the PWDs to self-development and independence.

Tomas highlighted at least 1 percent of all positions in government officies will be reserved for PWDs thus giving them more employment opportunity.

He added at least 10% of goods and services should also be procured by these agencies from PWDs who are preferably members of any PWD organization.

The Department of Trade and Industry will come up with a database listing all PWD organizations along with the different products and services that can be availed of from them.

Tomas stressed the social and vocational skills capabilities under concerned agencies Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and local social welfare offices will also be enhanced as mandated by the law.

For PWDs to be able to put good market, the Department of Public Works and Highways along with the Urban Development Coordinating Council will also look for government owned properties and buildings near economic zones that can be provided to PWDs as their temporary work or business centers.

Moreover, the law will also ensure source of capital for the livelihood programs for the PWDs.

All of these are expected to remove the barriers that avert PWDs in getting decent jobs, quality education, social services and fair treatment.

With the cooperation of the PWDs and concerned agencies, Tomas is confident the executive order will be implemented well in the region, most especially in the Summer Capital which has been considered a PWD friendly city.

Currently, Cordillera Administrative Region has around 26,000 persons with disabilities with 1,644 from Baguio City.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 04, 2014.

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