Philippine government to ensure workplace equality for disabled people

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The Philippines has implemented into law Executive Order 417, better known as the Economic Independence Program for PWDs (People With Disabilities).

First issued by ex-President Gloria Arroyo in 2005, the order gives people with disabilities equal opportunities within national, governmental and state-run agencies and corporations. The government funded program is being mandated and allotted a one per cent annual budget funding.

“EO417 shall open opportunities for PWDs and make them productive and be part of the sustainable development of the country,” said Emer Rojas, president of the New Vois Association of the Philippines and sector representative at the NAPC.

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The newly signed IRR, requires all branches of the state and government to observe the rights of those people with disabilities. The mandate also requires that one person be put into position to be the focal point for planning and implementation of the noted policy.

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Emer Rojas described this as a win-win situation for both the government and the PWDs.

“[The] government will also benefit from this because this will unburden the state from providing funds that will otherwise go to welfare services and donation to PWD organizations,” Rojas said in a press statement.

The government is also providing training programs to give PWDs access to employment opportunities, funding and market share-hold to products, goods and services that advance PWDs as well.

Another unique opportunity to the implemented program is that all national and local offices will be displaying products etc. specifically for PWDs.

The order is also making all government buildings be used as work centers for PWDs, only if the building passes certain safety standards.

In all, the current events for PWDs have highlighted the news as of lately. EO 417 will no doubt uplift the entire Filipino community from the Philippines and abroad to see the path in which the government is taking for those looking for a true form of equality.

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