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MANILA, Philippines - Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her son Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado “Dato” Arroyo want to establish help centers that would facilitate the employment of persons with disabilities (PWD) in companies.
In House Bill 6223 or the PWD Employment Facilitation Office Act, the mother-and-son tandem requires the establishment of a Persons With Disabilities Employment Facilitation Office (PWDEFO) where PWDs could find and explore various employment options, and seek training assistance for possible employment ventures.
The office would also serve as referral and information center for the various services and programs being provided by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and other government agencies. It would be located in all capital towns of provinces, key cities, and other strategic areas to be maintained largely by local government units (LGUs) and a number of non-government organizations (NGOs) or community-based organizations (CBOs).
“Our government has always been and remains to be active in addressing and improving the plight of our PWDs,” Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said.
The measure also mandates the conduct of an annual Nationwide Disability Prevalence Survey to determine the prevalence of disability, the distribution of disability in the country and the various regions with respect to age, sex and type of disability, as well as the status of rehabilitation of PWDs in the country.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines disability as any restriction or lack of ability (resulting from impairment) to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.
“Impairments associated with disabilities may be physical, mental or sensory motor impairment such as partial or total blindness and deafness, muteness, speech defect, orthopedic handicaps, and mental retardation. The categories of disability used almost in all surveys include total blindness, partial blindness, low vision, total deafness, partial deafness, being hard of hearing, oral defect, one hand, no hands, no legs, quadriplegic (regular), quadriplegic (severe), retarded (regular), retarded (severe), multiple impairment (regular) and multiple impairment (severe),” Dato Arroyo said.
He added that "through these employment opportunities being provided by the State, we will not only help boost the self-confidence of our PWDs, but enable them to be self-sufficient and productive members of their respective communities."