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“Sabay-sabay, Pantay-pantay sa Pag-unlad ng mga Kababaihang may Kapansanan #WalangIwanan”. This was the theme of the 15th Women with Disabilities Day celebration paving the way for the conduct of a Disability Awareness and Sensitivity Orientation for Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) employees on March 29, 2019.

Organized by the DOLE’s Human Resource Development Service (HRDS), the event aimed to increase the awareness and engage the DOLE employees on the basics of providing assistance in the workplace to persons with disability (PWDs).

Director Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla of the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) opened the program by sharing the Department’s initiatives in ensuring that the PWDs have access to employment opportunities and labor rights.  She said, “The role of the government and the private sector is very important in ensuring that PWDs are economically stable. The DOLE has been active in facilitating employment opportunities to persons with disability.” “I hope that through this   activity, you can do your part in promoting the welfare of persons with disability by being PWD advocates,” Trayvilla further stated.

Ms. Carmen Reyes-Zubiaga, OIC Executive Director of the National Council on Disability Affairs, shared the disability perspective and laws for PWDs. Other personalities who graced the event were Janice Sarmiento Cambri of Psychosocial Disability-Inclusive Philippines; Mona Liza Magno-Veluz of Autism Society of the Philippines; Marie Joyce C. Lopez of Resources for the Blind, Inc.; Maria Belen V. Untal of Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, Inc.; and Raphael D. Torralba of Asia Pacific Federation of Hard of Hearing and Deafened Persons, who informed the participants regarding the various disabilities such as psychosocial, developmental, visual, orthopedic and hearing impairment.

HRDS Director Brenalyn Peji expressed her gratitude towards the success of the activity. She hoped that the participants will now be aware of their responsibility to take into account the needs of the PWDs. She expressed, “The need to craft and implement PWD-friendly policies should be institutionalized in the DOLE. I am asking the participants to support this initiative as a way of showing public concern to PWDs and this would be a way to empower them and recognize their capabilities.”

END/mgbassig/globigas/mmsampang

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