MANILA (DWDD) – In line with the provisions of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 10524 or an “Act Expanding the Positions Reserved for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs),” the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) assures that it will improve its facilities which provide livelihood and skills training to PWDs to enhance their employability.
Among these are the National Vocational Rehabilitation Centers (NVRCs) and Area Vocational Rehabilitation Centers (AVRCs) located in the National Capital Region and in Regions I, VII, IX, X, and the Rehabilitation Sheltered Workshop (RSW) located in Project 4, Quezon City.
RA 10524 amends RA 7277, otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities. The law aims to increase their access to employment opportunities by encouraging government and private agencies and corporations to hire more PWDs.
The law provides that at least one percent of all positions in government agencies, offices or corporations shall be reserved for PWDs. On the other hand, private corporations with more than 100 employees are also enjoined to reserve at least one percent of all positions for PWDs.
Other laws promoting the welfare of PWDs are RA No. 1179 series of 1954, which provides for the promotion of the vocational rehabilitation of the blind and other disabled and their return to civil employment; RA No. 2615, series of 1959 which amends RA No. 1179 and provides for the establishment of the regional rehabilitation training centers and also extends the six month period of Vocational Training for the Disabled Trainees to a period of one year.
Aside from the NVRCs and AVRCs, the DSWD also runs the Rehabilitation Sheltered Workshop, as well as residential care facilities catering to the needs of PWDs, such as Elsie Gaches Village in Alabang and the Accelerating Minor’s Opportunity for Recovery (Amor) Village in Region III.
From January to September 2016, the Department has served 645 clients through NVRC, AVRCs I, II, III, Center for the Handicapped, and RSW.
Meanwhile, the Department’s residential care facilities has served 777 clients, with Elsie Gaches Village serving 653 clients, and Amor, 124 clients.
The Department also partners with private corporations for the conduct of programs which equip PWDs with the necessary skills for them to have gainful employment and lead productive lives.
DSWD programs for PWDs are Tuloy Aral Walang Sagabal (TAWAG), Early Detection, Prevention, and Intervention of Disability (EDPID), Comprehensive Program for Children/Persons with Disabilities, and Substitute Family Care Service at the different residential centers in Regions I, III, VII, IX, and NCR.
DSWD also offers livelihood training, capital assistance, and employment to PWDs through the RSW. PWDs avail of skills training on sewing, as call center agents, rag making, cooking, massage therapy, among others.
Under the leadership of Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo, the DSWD is focused on providing genuine care to all vulnerable sectors through initiatives that will enable them to stand on their own feet.
Sec. Taguiwalo stated, “Nais nating mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga kababayan nating may kapansanan upang sila’y maging produktibo at makapagtrabaho (We want to provide opportunities for our countrymen who have disabilities, so they would become productive and gain employment). ”
“Inaamin naming kulang ang mga pasilidad at kailangan ding ayusin ang mga centers upang mas marami pang mga may kapansanan na indibidwal ang matulungan (We admit that facilities are lacking and we also need to improve our centers so more PWDs can be assisted),” the Secretary added.
“We should always ensure that PWDs have regular access to social protection programs. At the same time, we should respect, promote, and protect their dignity, rights, and welfare. PWDs have the same rights as others. They must be able to enjoy these on an equal basis with non-PWDs,” Sec. Taguiwalo emphasized.
The DSWD is the largest provider of residential care to the disadvantaged sectors of the society, including PWDs, managing a total of sixty-four (64) residential care facilities and seven (7) non- residential care facilities nationwide. SMS DSWD / MCAG