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No cash but tools, materials for PWD entreps-to-be
Photo by: Jeremiah Rubiano
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Sixteen persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Valenzuela City are about to become entrepreneurs, thanks to a program by the labor department.

Business proposals submitted by the PWD participants of the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE)  Kabuhayan Starter Kit Program on Friday, June 10, range from siopao(meat-stuffed buns)-making  to garments-sewing. 

The participants had been picked by the DOLE based on recommendations by the Office of Councilor Corazon Cortez, who authored in 2013 the local ordinance creating the Office of Persons with Disabilities Affairs.

Annaliza Vitug, labor employment officer at the local Public Employment Services Office (PESO), said all the participants have disabilities that keep them from being employed and whose best livelihood option is to run their own small businesses.

Vitug said instead of doling out cash, the DOLE is buying equipment and raw materials for the participants, to be handed over to them on June 30. A budget of Php7,000 has been allocated by the labor bureau for every participant.

Besides providing them with starter kits, the DOLE is also training the participants how to tend to their businesses, teaching them financial management, marketing, and safety, among other business skills. The agency will keep a close watch of the fledgling enterprises for three years, after which they will be evaluated and assessed whether additional capital should be given them.

The DOLE and the PESO on Friday also held a job fair where 800 vacancies among 15 companies were made available to PWD applicants and their families, at the Valenzuela City Convention Center in Poblacion II, Malinta.

Vitug pointed out that under the Republic Act 7277, or “The Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities,” businesses who hire PWDs are qualified to tax incentives. Section 8 of the Magna Carta says companies with PWD employees enjoy a 25 percent deduction on the total amount they pay for the salaries of their PWD employees.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office reports as of June 2016, a total of 13,952 PWDs are living in Valenzuela City.

2016-06-14 | By: Rafael Carpio Cañete

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