MANILA - The House of Representatives approved Monday on third and final reading House Bill 9106, which seeks to grant additional privileges for persons with disabilities (PWDs).
Some 170 lawmakers voted to approve the bill that will will amend provisions of Republic Act 7277 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.
Under the proposed law, all government agencies, offices, or government corporations are mandated to fill up at least 2 percent of all positions for qualified PWDs.
Private corporations with more than 1,000 employees are likewise required to allot at least 2 percent of all positions for PWDS and 1 percent for those with less than 1,000 employees.
In return, private corporations and entities 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 law 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.
- Lifetime validity of PWD identification cards.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is mandated to monitor compliance on the provisions of the proposed law and ensure that the privileges provided are not abused by its beneficiaries. - Report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News