ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Zamboanga City want businessmen to hire them.
Salvie Canony, a graduate of Business Administration, Major in Human Resource at Philippine Advent College in Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte, recently finished a course in Graphic Arts offered by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Area Vocational Research Center.
Canony was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at age 5. Her eyesight and legs were eventually affected by her illness.
Her condition made her a subject of discrimination and criticisms many times in her life.
However, she has learned how to turn a deaf ear to negative comments.
"Kahit saan naman, kahit hindi ka PWD, meron pa ring mga not so beautiful comments na sasabihin sa'yo," Canony said.
She said she spent her happiest moments at the DSWD's AVRC. "Uplifting doon. Walang discrimination. Ine-encourage ka nilang to get out of your shell. Hinde kesyo PWD ka eh hanggang diyan ka na lang, " Canony added.
Canony was among the 34 differently-abled persons who graduated from various courses offered by the AVRC.
She challenges employers to hire them, as they can do and work as much as any normal employee would.
"Marami din kaming alam," Canony said.
Business chamber president Edwin To has asked the DSWD to give them a list of the trained PWDs and their corresponding skills.
The list, he said, will be circulated among the businessmen in Zamboanga City.
"In case they need manpower, the list may come in handy," To said.
Hiring of persons with special needs both in government and private offices is stipulated in the Magna Carta for PWDs.
It states that at least 1% of the total workforce should be persons with disabilities. Offices that comply with the Magna Carta get tax incentives from the government.
The DSWD however, said only a few comply with the law.