“No one should be left behind, especially the underpriviledged and PWDs. With the help of Tourism, Agriculture and ICT, we can lower down the poverty index in Bohol. Employ and give a new breathe of life to PWDs and you will be blessed a thousand fold”.
This is Gov. Edgar Chatto’s message of encouragement to the officers and members of Bohol Association of Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants (BAHRR) during the Forum on Exploring Inclusive Employment in the Tourism Sector in Bohol held in Panda Tea Garden Suites in TagbilaranCity, June 23, 2017.
The event aims to provide jobs and livelihood to members of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) as mandated by Section 5 of the Republic Act 7277 otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons which states that “at least 5% of all casual emergency and contractual positions in the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Health, Education Culture and Sports and other government agencies, offices or corporations engaged in social development shall be reserved for disabled persons”.
Sponsored by Australian Aid, in partnership with The Asia Foundation and Bohol Association of Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants, the event started with a Welcome Remarks by BAHRR President Mr. Rommel T.Gonzales followed by Background and Rational of the Project by Ms. Bernadette G. Caberte, the Project Coordinator and Masters of Ceremonies.
Ms. Rowena”Jing” Lopez from the Department of Tourism Region VII discussed the Barrier Free Tourism for All and Inclusive Employment of PWDs in the Tourism Sector and provides a presentation of the necessary amenities for PWDs.
Representative from the Bureau of Internal Revenue tackled Fiscal Reforms and Tax Incentives to Taxpayers promoting the welfare of PWDs. Also discussed are the Key Mandates and Laws to Promote the Welfare of PWDs by Mr. Rizalino R. Sanchez, the Chief Information, Education anf Communication Division of the National Council for Disability Affairs (NCDA), an agency attached with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
In the afternoon, Mr. Jim Nemenio from the UNILAB Foundation shared their strategies and experiences in assisting and providing livelihood to PWDs from training to finding the right jobs and companies for PWDs and showed the participants the advantages of employing members of PWDs.
A comparison of Survey Results on Inclusive Employment of PWDs in the Philippines and Bohol is the topic of discussion by Atty. Ron Gutierrez from Upholding Life and Nature (ULAN) followed by open forum participated by all.
Mr. Jowil M. Plecerda, Program Officer of The Asia Foundation provided the closing remarks of the forum with the commitment of each participant in supporting the need of providing livelihood to PWDs.
With the success of the Forum and continued support of the government agencies, NGOs and private sector, PWDs are assured of their participation as part of the builders of society towards the achievement of the province’s goal in economic development.