BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 417
DIRECTING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE PROGRAM FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (PWDs)
WHEREAS, it is a policy of the State under the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines to protect the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs) and promote their welfare and development;
WHEREAS, Republic Act No. 7277, otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, also affirms and mandates the rehabilitation, self-development and self-reliance, and integration of PWDs into the mainstream society;
WHEREAS, the General Appropriations Act explicitly provides funding mechanisms for programs and projects of PWDs and their organizations from at least one percent (1%) of the total yearly budget of all National Government Agencies and instrumentalities including Government Financial Institutions and Government owned and controlled corporations;
WHEREAS, Proclamation No. 240 on the Philippine Decade of Disabled Persons 2003-2012 further instructs all Heads of Departments, Chiefs of Bureaus, Offices, Agencies and Instrumentalities of the National Government, Local Government Units to implement plans, programs and activities geared towards the development of PWDs;
WHEREAS, the National Anti-Poverty Action Program and the Administration’s 10-Point Legacy Agenda target the delivery of services to and the development of the marginalized basic sectors, such as PWDs;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order:
SECTION 1. Implementation of the Economic Independence Program for Persons with Disabilities. — All national government agencies including government owned and controlled corporations are enjoined to support and cooperate in the implementation of the Economic Independence Program for PWDs.
SECTION 2. Enhancement of the Social and Vocational Skills Capabilities of PWDs. — In order to develop and enhance the social and vocational skills capacities of PWDs:
1. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) shall develop and implement a national social preparation program that will deal on moral values and work ethics of entrepreneurs with disabilities;
2. The Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) shall continually develop a system of equivalency to ensure PWDs’ access to employment and entrepreneurship;
3. The TESDA shall develop and implement relevant unified training programs, basic organizational and entrepreneurial skills that eventually make PWDs self-reliant and not a burden to society;
4. The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) shall develop and implement programs to promote coop organizing and development among PWDs.
SECTION 3. Markets for Products and Services of Cooperatives of PWDs and other Organizations of PWDs Engaged in Livelihood. — In order to ensure markets for products and services of PWDs, their cooperatives and other organizations engaged in business:
1. All Government Agencies, Bureaus, Offices, Instrumentalities, State Universities and Colleges, Government Financial Institutions and Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations shall employ PWDs whenever applicable. Local Government Units are also enjoined to employ PWDs whenever applicable.
2. The same are to avail of the services of cooperatives of PWDs and organizations of PWDs by procuring at least 10% of their requirements of goods and services, where possible and applicable. All local Government Units are also enjoined to do the same.
3. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), together with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), shall develop and implement marketing promotion and product development and to come up with a database of PWD organizations and a directory of PWD products and services. All government offices, national and local, are also herewith enjoined to reserve a displace space for PWD products and services in their respective offices upon request and where appropriate.
4. The Philippine Information Agency shall create promotional programs on the positive image of PWDs focusing on the ability and not on the disability.
SECTION 4. Accessible Work Centers.— In order to provide accessible work centers with adequate equipment in strategic areas especially near export processing zones or economic zone areas for viable endeavors by PWDs:
1. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) shall conduct an inventory of unused government buildings for free temporary usage as work centers for PWDs.
2. The DSWD shall facilitate post-identification activities, including assisting PWD organizations to source equipment and other operational assistance. It shall also enhance the implementation of its existing social and vocational rehabilitation training centers and sheltered workshops.
SECTION 5. Capital for Livelihood Programs.— To ensure continuous source of capital for livelihood programs for PWDs:
1. The Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines, People’s Credit and Finance Corporation (PCFC), Quedancor, National Livelihood Support Fund shall make available funds for the credit requirements of eligible PWD cooperatives and organizations, as well as develop other financial services where viable.
2. The PCFC shall enjoin its affiliated microfinance institutions to open programs for PWD entrepreneurs and promote the development of microfinance schemes designed for PWD micro-enterprises.
SECTION 6. Implementing Rules and Regulations, Guidelines, Financial and Work Plans,— To ensure effective implementation of the Program:
1. The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) shall be the lead agency to formulate the Implementing Rules and Regulations of this Executive Order in consultation with stakeholders and which shall be prepared within sixty (60) days from the approval of this Order.
2. Concerned agencies shall formulate their respective guidelines and shall include in their annual work and financial plans, programs, activities, and plans in compliance with this Executive Order and its implementing rules and regulations as may hereinafter be issued.
3. NAPC shall exercise regular policy oversight functions in the implementation of this Executive Order
SECTION 7. Reporting. —To ensure periodic reporting on the development and implementation of economic development programs for PWDs:
1. Concerned government agencies shall submit, at least on a semi-annual basis, reports on the implementation of Economic Independence Program for PWDs to the NAPC and the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons.
SECTION 8. Effectivity. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.
DONE in the City of Manila, this 22nd day of March, in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Five.
(Sgd.) GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
By the President:
(Sgd.) EDUARDO R. ERMITA