The measure seeks to grant additional privileges to PWDs and will amend provisions of the Magna Carta for PWDs (Republic Act 7277), such as mandatory employment in government offices and corporations, including the private sector.
BusinessWorld/File
House OKs bill mandating employers to hire PWDs
(The Philippine Star) - June 3, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill that will encourage employers to hire persons with disabilities (PWDs).

“The House has already approved this new PWD bill and it’s now up to the Senate to do the same. I’m not losing hope that we can still pass this into law,” said the author of House Bill 9106, Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Treñas.

The measure seeks to grant additional privileges to PWDs and will amend provisions of the Magna Carta for PWDs (Republic Act 7277), such as mandatory employment in government offices and corporations, including the private sector.

Treñas, who was elected city mayor and will assume office come July 1, said a counterpart bill is in the Senate and there is still time to see its approval before Congress adjourns sine die on June 7.

Under the bill, all government agencies, offices or government corporations are mandated to fill at least two percent of all positions for qualified PWDs.

“We still have time to approve this measure and pass it into law. We should make the most of the remaining session days so we can make life easier and better for our PWDs,” the senior lawmaker said.

Under the measure, private corporations with more than 1,000 employees will be required to allot at least two percent of all positions for PWDS and one percent for those with less than 1,000 employees.

In return, private firms that employ PWDs who meet the required skills or qualifications as apprentices or learners “shall be entitled to an additional deduction, from their gross income, equivalent to 25 percent of the total amount paid as salaries and wages to PWDs.”

On the other hand, “private entities that employ PWDs as regular employees shall be entitled to an additional deduction from their gross income, equivalent to 50 percent of the total amount paid as salaries and wages for the PWDs.”

The bill also mandates the provision of free assistive technology services including designing, customizing, maintaining, repairing or replacing assistive technology devices to enhance the functional capacity of PWDs.

Also provided on the proposed law as additional privileges for PWDs are as follows:

Monthly stipend amounting to P500 for marginalized PWDs to augment their daily subsistence, medical and other needs.

Exemption from passport processing fees, as well as travel taxes, terminal fees, other fees and charges levied on airports, ports, or other terminals by the government, any of its agencies or instrumentalities, or by government-owned or controlled corporations.

There is also the lifetime validity of PWD identification cards.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development is also mandated to monitor compliance on the provisions of the proposed law and ensure the privileges provided are not abused by its beneficiaries.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
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