How do we let people know that hiring PWDs is a great idea? Let them know the benefits.
If you ask a small business owner if he will hire a person with disability, more often than not the idea will be met with opposition if not laughter or sarcasm. Sadly, many perception-based biases hurt the PWDs chances of living a productive and fulfilling life. Our primary goal at PWDPhil.com is to raise awareness and change public perception towards Pinoys With Disabilities. Their disabilities should not be hindrances to their employ-ability and unless the job requires specific motor skills, the person with disability is as good as anyone vying for an office job. Remember that the law states that “No person with disability shall be denied access to opportunities for suitable employment. A qualified disabled employee shall be subject to the same terms and conditions of employment and the same compensation, privileges, benefits, fringe benefits, incentives or allowances as a qualified able bodied person. “
The few PWDs who get hired working in offices struggle against physical hardship just to get to the office on time. Many of our ramps are not safe for wheelchairs and even more of these ramps are too steep or too narrow for a wheelchair to use for the PWD to go at it alone. The cost of building or retrofitting these access ramps are an expense that many companies have chosen to scrimp on, mostly because of the general negative attitude pervasive against PWDs.
The government has taken steps in giving tax incentives to companies that make improvements to make their facility access-friendly, as there are also tax incentives for hiring PWDs as seen in the provisions of Republic Act 7277:
To encourage the active participation of the private sector in promoting the welfare of disabled persons and to ensure gainful employment for qualified disabled persons, adequate incentives shall be provided to private entities which employ disabled persons.cralaw
(b) Private entities that employ disabled persons who meet the required skills or qualifications, either as regular employee, apprentice or learner, shall be entitled to an additional deduction, from their gross income, equivalent to twenty-five percent (25%) of the total amount paid as salaries and wages to disabled persons: Provided, however, That such entities present proof as certified by the Department of Labor and Employment that disabled persons are under their employ: Provided, further, That the disabled employee is accredited with the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Health as to his disability, skills and qualifications.
(c) Private entities that improve or modify their physical facilities in order to provide reasonable accommodation for disabled persons shall also be entitled to an additional deduction from their net taxable income, equivalent to fifty percent (50%) of the direct costs of the improvements or modifications. This Section, however, does not apply to improvements or modifications of facilities required under Batas Pambansa Bilang 344.
Beyond what the incentives and laws say, it is always a good idea to hire a PWD. Because they are people too who have abilities that contribute to any organization’s operations. The hardships that many of them face, including ridicule and bullying, Pinoys with disabilities are strong, capable and determined to prove their worth.