DOLE 7 chief reminds employers to reserve 1% of positions for PWDs

DOLE 7 chief reminds employers to reserve 1% of positions for PWDs

AN OFFICIAL from the Department of Employment in Central Visayas (DOLE 7) has reminded employers to adhere to the policy that they should reserve at least one percent of all positions in their companies for persons with disabilities (PWDs).

DOLE 7 Director Lilia Estillore said on Tuesday, July 11, 2023, that this should be implemented in all private corporations with at least 100 employees.

Estillore’s statement came after DOLE Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma released Labor Advisory No. 15, Series of 2023, on Monday, which aims to streamline the reinforcement of PWD rights in the workplace.

Estillore urged all employers to avoid discrimination against PWDs.

The DOLE 7 official said Laguesma’s advisory applies to “job application, hiring, job training, promotion, compensation or discharge of employees, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.”

Estillore said there is a need for employers to provide a barrier-free environment, ensuring access to public and private buildings in compliance with Batas Pambansa Bilang 344, also 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.”

“We are also reminding employers that they are duty-bound to facilitate persons with disabilities’ access to express lanes in all commercial and government establishments,” she said.

In an interview with Director Maria Elena Arbon of the Department of Trade and Industry last May 16 regarding PWDs in the workforce, she said employing PWDs is beneficial, but certain factors need to be considered.

She emphasized the importance of job matching to ensure that PWDs are employed in roles that are suitable for their capabilities, taking into consideration their disabilities.

A 23-year-old PWD who works as an Engagement Specialist expressed gratitude that DOLE has reinforced the rights of people like him.

Clarck Neil Alcontin from Barangay Guadalupe, Carcar City said that everyone should be given equal opportunities in life, especially when applying for a job, adding that nobody should face discrimination.

“Having a disability does not mean that you are unproductive. Like me, I am visually impaired. I have a high eye grade, and I cannot see clearly. I am grateful that my employer treats everyone equally,” he said.

Alcontin has a visual acuity of 900 in the left eye and 1,100 in the right eye.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, approximately 2.5 percent or 1.9 million out of the 76 million working-age Filipinos in 2022 are PWDs.

The working-age group refers to the population aged 15 to 64 years old. This indicator measures the share of the working-age population in the total population.

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