THE House Committee on Persons with Disabilities chaired by Fifth District Representative Ma. Lourdes Arroyo approved in principle five bills that will empower persons with disabilities (PWDs) by providing more opportunities for employment and livelihood.
The House bills (HB) passed were HB 6632 by Representative Manuel Cabochan (Magdalo), HB 8392 by Representative Lray VIllafuerte, HB 8435 by Representative Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado, HB 4007 by Representative Tyrone Agabas and HB 1240 by Representative Micaela Violago.
All House bills seek to amend Republic Act (RA) 7277, otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.
The proposed measures seek to include private corporations engaged in social development to reserve positions for persons with disabilities.
Under the provisions of RA 7277, private companies are only encouraged to employ PWDs while government agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Health, Education, Culture and Sports are mandated to reserve the five percent of all casual, emergency and contractual positions for PWDs.
Resource persons present in the committee meeting such as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Civil Service Commission (CSC) all support the proposed measures that will enable inclusivity for PWDs in the workplace whether in government or private sector.
During her opening remarks, Arroyo encouraged stakeholders to continue working toward correcting the flawed system where PWDs are given fewer opportunities.
"I stand with all of you in seeking true equality. Let us break the glass ceiling in every area of society, and let us continue our journey in seeking the end of discrimination, as we seek fair and equitable treatment for everyone: regardless of sex, gender, especially disability," Arroyo said.