PWDs seek jobs, good pay at fair

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014


ABOUT 140 persons with disabilities (PWDs) flocked yesterday to a jobs fair organized by the Cebu City Government and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

But only three companies and two recruitment agencies participated in the fair, which is also supported by the Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center.

Cebu City Department of Manpower Development & Placement (DMDP) officer-in-charge Jean Marie Brual said only a few employers want to hire PWDs.

Under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of PWDs, persons with disabilities have the right to work on an equal basis with others.

Section 5 of Republic Act (RA) 7277 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons states that no disabled person will be denied access to opportunities for suitable employment provided they are qualified. The law also requires that a PWD must have the same compensation, privileges, allowances, benefits and incentives are able-bodied employees.

Low pay

But a 32-year-old deaf-mute said she left her employer of 14 years as she did not get the same salary and benefits as her able-bodied co-workers.

Glenda, who asked that her real identity be withheld, went to the jobs fair to find another job.

She has been working as a graphic designer since 2000. After completing a two-year course, she studied elementary education and graduated cum laude from the University of Southern Philippines (USP) in 2003.

But she failed the Licensure Examination for Teachers because she could not understand some portions of the exam.

RA 7277 requires government agencies and corporations to reserve five percent of their work force for PWDs.

Incentives for employers

The law provides tax exemptions to private companies that hire PWDs and additional incentives to those that introduce improvements in their facilities for differently abled persons.

Companies that joined the 6th Cebu City PWD Job Fair at the sports complex of Barangay Ramos yesterday were Qualfon BPO Services, Aegis People Support, Ruiz Derma, Jobsville Recruitment Services and Orient Express Recruitment Services Inc.

Brual said PWDs can be hired as food service crew, bakers, kitchen staff, drivers, custodians, and customer service representatives and chat support agents in call centers.

Brual said the DMDP helps give jobs to able-bodied persons as well as those with disabilities.

Alberto Siacor, 58, was at the job fair before the company representatives of Qualfon.

He hopes to be hired as a property custodian.

He has been working as a carpenter but his meager income was not enough to send his son to school. He said his son was unable to enroll in sixth grade because they do have money.

Although he is only a high school graduate, Siacor said he hopes to get a job at the business process outsourcing firm.

“Kung di ka mangita’g trabaho, wa kay makaon (If you don't look for a job, you will starve),” he said. He added that he is a dedicated and industrious worker.(Daryl Niño T. Jabil, CNU Comm Intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 23, 2014.

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