By Ma. Teresa Montemayor, December 21, 2023; Philippine News Agency

MANILA – The joint memorandum circular (JMC) signed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), and the Department of Budget would open new employment opportunities for persons with disabilities (PWDs).

In a Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon interview on Thursday, NCDA officer-in-charge Deputy Executive Director Dandy Victa said the JMC No.1 Series of 2023 will, among others, identify the budget for the employment of PWDs who are mostly self-employed.

Ang importante po, na makasali po ang ating persons with disability sa mga (What’s important is that our persons with disability are able to join) open employment activities,” he said.

At dito nga po iyong pagkakaroon ng support service mula po sa recruitment, sa kanilang hiring, sa placement at sa pang-araw-araw po nilang pagpasok sa kanilang mga hanapbuhay (Stated in the circular is the provision of support service for them, from recruitment, to hiring, to placement, up to their daily reporting for work).”

The JMC, which provides guidelines on the proper reporting, monitoring, and utilization of funds for activities, programs, and projects for PWDs, was signed on December 15.

As of December 19, the Philippine Registry of Persons with Disabilities has recorded 1,324,206 PWDs with identification cards.

Currently, the NCDA is focused on supporting the rights of PWDs through appropriate services.

Victa explained that every category of PWD needs various different services, and local government units (LGUs) play a vital role as they are mandated for the implementation of such in their communities.

For example po, kung mayroon po kayong mga kliyente o costumers na deaf persons, kailangan po mayroon po tayong available na mga sign language interpreters or nakakaintindi po iyong ating mga frontline services para sa mga pangangailangan po ng mga (if you have clients or customers who are deaf persons, there must be available sign language interpreters, or those in the frontline services understand the needs of the) deaf, using Filipino sign language, for example,” he said.

With the newly-signed JMC, the NCDA expects the strengthened implementation of rehabilitation and habilitation services.

Victa emphasized that both services constitute a big part of the PWD’s daily expenses.

At sana nga po sa taong darating po ay ganap na po na maipatupad po iyong ating PhilHealth coverage for our persons with disabilities para po mapaigting po iyong kanilang pag-avail po ng serbisyo as far as rehabilitation and habilitation po (Hopefully, next year, the PhilHealth coverage would be fully implemented for our persons with disabilities so they can avail rehabilitation and habilitation services),” he said.