Philippines – Magna Carta for the Disabled

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Labour Law Documents

1992-PHL 1


Magna Carta for Disabled Persons. Dated 24 March 1992. (Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, 4 May 1992, Vol. 88, No. 18, pp. 2537-2556.)


Chapter 1. Basic principle

Section 1. Title. This Act shall be known and cited as the “Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.”

Section 2. Declaration of policy. The grant of the rights and

privileges for disabled persons shall be guided by the following principles:

(a) Disabled persons are part of Philippine society, thus the State shall give full support to the improvement of the total well-being of disabled persons and their integration into the mainstream of society. Toward this end, the State shall adopt policies ensuring them to compete favourably for available opportunities.

(b) Disabled persons have the same rights as other people to take their proper place in society. They should be-able to live freely and as independently as possible. This must be the concern of everyone, the family, the community and all government and non-governmental organisations. Disabled persons’ rights must never be perceived as welfare services by the Government.

(c) The rehabilitation of the disabled persons shall be the concern of the Government in order to foster their capacity to attain a more meaningful, productive and satisfying life. To reach out to a greater number of disabled persons, the rehabilitation services and benefits shall be expanded beyond the traditional urban-based centres to community-based programmes, that will ensure full participation of different sectors as supported by national and local government agencies.

(d) The State also recognises the role of the private sector in promoting the welfare of disabled persons and shall encourage partnership in programmes that address their needs and concerns.

(e) To facilitate integration of disabled persons into the mainstream of society, The State shall advocate for and encourage respect for disabled

persons. The State shall exert all efforts to remove all social, cultural, economic, environmental and attitudinal barriers that are prejudicial to disabled persons.

Section 3. Coverage. This Act shall cover all disabled persons and to the extent herein provided, departments, offices and agencies of the National Government or non-government organisations involved in the attainment of the objectives of this Act.

Section 4. Definition of terms. For purposes of this Act, these terms

are defined as follows:

(a) Disabled persons are those suffering from restriction or different abilities, as a result of a mental, physical or sensory impairment, to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.

(b) Impairment is any loss, diminution or aberration of psychological, physiological, or anatomical structure or function.

(c) Disability shall mean (1) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more psychological, physiological or anatomical function of an individual or activities of such individual;

(2) a record of such an impairment; or (3) being regarded as having such

an impairment.

(d) Handicap refers to a disadvantage for a given individual resulting from an impairment or a disability, that limits or prevents the function or activity, that is considered normal given the age and sex of the individual.

(e) Rehabilitation is an integrated approach to physical, social, cultural, spiritual, educational and vocational measures that create conditions for the individual to attain the highest possible level of functional ability.

(f) Social barriers refer to the characteristics of institutions whether legal, economic, cultural, recreational or other, any human group, community, or society which limit the fullest possible participation of

disabled persons in the ‘life of the group. Social barriers include negative attitudes which tend to single out and exclude disabled persons and which distort roles and inter-personal relationship.

(g) Auxiliary aids and services include:

(1) qualified interpreters or other effective methods of delivering materials to individuals with hearing impairments;

(2) qualified readers, taped tests, or other effective methods of delivering materials to individuals with visual impairments;

(3) acquisition or modification of equipment or devices; and

(4) other similar services and actions or all types of aids and services that facilitate the learning process of people with mental disability.

(h) Reasonable accommodation include:

(1) improvement of existing facilities used by employees in order to render these readily accessible to and usable by disabled persons; and

(2) modification of work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position, acquisition or modification of equipment or devices, appropriate adjustments or modifications of examinations, training materials or

company policies, rules and regulations, the provision of auxiliary aids and services, and other similar accommodations for disabled persons.

(i) Sheltered employment refers to the provision of productive work for disabled persons through workshops providing special facilities, income-producing projects or homework schemes with a view to giving them the opportunity to earn a living thus enabling them to acquire a working capacity required in open industry.

(j) Auxiliary social services are the supportive activities in the delivery of social services to the marginalised sectors of society.

(k) Marginalised disabled Persons refer to disabled persons who lack access to rehabilitative services and opportunities to be able to participate fully in socioeconomic activities and who have no means of livelihood or whose incomes fall below the poverty threshold.

(1) Qualified individual with a disability shall mean an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodations, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires. However, consideration shall be given to the employer’s judgment as to what functions of a job are essential, and if an employer has prepared a written description before advertising or interviewing applicants for the job, this description shall be considered evidence of the essential functions of the job.

(m) Readily achievable means a goal can be easily attained and carried out without much difficulty or expense. In determining whether an action is readily achievable, factors to be considered include:

(1) the nature and cost of the action;

(2) the overall financial resources of she facility or facilities involved in the action; the number of persons employed at such

facility; the effect on expenses and resources, or the impact

otherwise of such action upon the operation of the facility;

(3) the overall financial resources of the covered entity with respect to the number of its employees; the number, type and location of its facilities, and

(4) the overall financial resources of the covered entity with including the composition, structure and functions of the workforce of such entity, the geographic separateness, administrative or fiscal relationship of the facility or facilities in question to the covered entity.

(n) Public transportation means transportation by air, land and sea that provides the public with general or special service on a regular and continuing basis.

(o) Covered entity means an employer, employment agency, labour organisation or joint labour-management committee.

(p) Commerce shall be taken to mean as travel, trade, traffic, commerce, transportation, or communication among the provinces ‘ or between any foreign country or any territory or possession and any province.


Chapter 1. Employment

Section 5. Equal opportunity for employment. No disabled person shall be denied access to opportunities for suitable employment. A qualified disabled employee shall be subject to the same terms and conditions of employment and the same compensation, privileges, benefits, fringe benefits, incentives or allowances as a qualified able bodied person.

Five per cent of all casual, emergency and contractual positions in the Departments 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.

Section 6. Sheltered employment. If suitable employment for disabled persons cannot be found through open employment as provided in the immediately preceding section, the State shall endeavour to provide it by means of sheltered employment, it shall accord due regard to the individual qualities, vocational goals and inclinations to ensure a good working atmosphere and efficient production.

Section 7. Apprenticeship. Subject to the provisions of the Labour Code as amended, disabled persons shall be eligible as apprentices or learners: provided that their handicap is not much as to effectively impede the performance of job operations in the particular occupation for which they are hired; provided, further, that after the lapse of the period of apprenticeship if found satisfactory in the job performance, they shall be eligible for employment.

Section 8. Incentives for employers.

(a) To encourage the active participation of the Private sector in promoting the welfare of disabled persons and to ensure gainful employment for qualified disabled persons, adequate incentives shall be provided to private entities which employ disabled persons.

(b) Private entities that employ disabled persons who meet the required skills or qualifications, either as regular employee, apprentice or learner, shall be entitled to an additional deduction, from their gross income, equivalent to 25 per cent of the total amount paid as salaries and wages to disabled persons: provided, however, that such entities present proof as certified by the Department of Labor and Employment that disabled persons are under their employ: provided, further, that the disabled employee is accredited with the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Health as to his disability, skills and qualifications.

(c) Private entities that improve or modify their physical facilities in order to provide reasonable accommodation for disabled persons shall also be entitled to an additional deduction from their net taxable income, equivalent to 50 per cent of the direct costs of the improvements or modifications. This section, however, does not apply to improvements or modifications of facilities required under Batas Pambansa Bilang 344.

Section 9. Vocational rehabilitation. Consistent with the principle of equal opportunity for disabled workers and workers in general, the State shall take appropriate vocational rehabilitation measures that shall serve to develop the skills and potentials of disabled persons and enable them to compete favourably for available productive and remunerative employment opportunities in the labour market.

The State shall also take measures to ensure the provision of vocational rehabilitation and livelihood services for disabled persons in the rural areas. In addition, it shall promote cooperation and coordination between the government and non-governmental organisation and other private entities engaged in vocational rehabilitation activities.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development shall design and implement training programmes that will provide disabled persons with vocational skills to enable them to engage in livelihood activities or obtain gainful employment. The Department of Labor and Employment shall likewise design and conduct training programmes geared towards providing disabled persons with skills for livelihood.

Section 10. Vocational guidance and counselling. The Department of Social Welfare and Development shall implement measures providing and evaluating vocational guidance and counselling to enable disabled persons to secure, retain and advance in employment. It shall ensure the availability and training of counsellors and other suitably qualified staff responsible for the vocational guidance and counselling of disabled persons.

Section 11. Implementing, rules and regulations. The Department of Labor and Employment shall in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP) promulgate the rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions under this chapter.

Chapter 2. Education

Section 12. Access to-quality education. The State shall ensure that disabled persons are provided with adequate access to quality education and ample opportunities to develop their skills. It shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all disabled persons. It shall be unlawful for any learning institution to deny a disabled person admission to any course it offers by reason of handicap or disability.

The State shall take into consideration the special requirements of disabled persons in the formulation of educational policies and programmes. It shall encourage learning institutions to take into account the special needs of disabled persons with respect to the use of school facilities, class schedules, physical education requirements, and other pertinent considerations.

The State shall also promote the provision by learning institutions, especially higher learning institutions, of auxiliary services that will facilitate the learning process for disabled persons.

Section 13. Assistance to disabled students. The State shall provide financial assistance to economically marginalised but deserving disabled students pursuing post secondary or tertiary education. Such assistance may be in the form of scholarship grants, student loan programmes, subsidies, and other incentives to qualified disabled students in both public and private schools. At least 5 per cent of the allocation for the private education student financial assistance programme created by virtue of RA 6725 shall be set aside for disabled students pursuing vocational or technical and degree courses.

Section 14. Special education. The State shall establish, maintain and support a complete, adequate and integrated system of special education for the visually impaired, hearing impaired, mentally retarded persons and other types of exceptional children in all regions of the country. Toward this end, the Department of Education, Culture and Sports shall establish special education classes in public schools in cities or municipalities. It shall also establish, where viable, Braille and record libraries in provinces, cities or municipalities.

The National Government shall allocate funds necessary for the effective implementation of the special education programme nationwide. Local government units may likewise appropriate counterpart funds to supplement national funds.

Section 15. Vocational or technical and other training programmes. The State shall provide disabled persons with training in civics, vocational efficiency, sports and physical fitness, and other skills. The Department of Education, Culture and Sports shall establish in at least one government-owned vocational and technical school in every province a special vocational and technical training programme for disabled persons. It shall develop and implement sports and physical fitness programmes specifically designed for disabled persons taking into consideration the nature of their handicap.

Section 16. Non-formal education. The State shall develop non-formal education programmes intended for the total human development of disabled persons. It shall provide adequate resources for non-formal education programmes and projects that cater to the special needs of disabled persons.

Section 17. State universities and colleges. If viable and needed, the state university or state college in each region or province shall be responsible for (a) the development of material appliances and technical aids for disabled persons; (b) the development of training materials for vocational rehabilitation and special education instructions; and (c) the research on special problems, particularly of the visually-impaired, hearing-impaired, speech-impaired, and orthopedically-impaired students, mentally retarded, the multi-handicapped and others, and the elimination of social barriers and discrimination against disabled persons; and (d) inclusion of the Special Education for Disabled (SPED) course in the curriculum.

The National Government shall provide these state universities and colleges with the necessary special facilities for visually-impaired, hearing-impaired, speech-impaired, and orthopedically-impaired students. it shall likewise allocate the necessary funds in support of the above.



Chapter 1. Discrimination on employment

Section 32. Discrimination on employment. No entity, whether public or private, shall discriminate against a qualified disabled person by reason of disability in regard to job application procedures, the hiring, promotion, or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. The following constitute acts of discrimination:

(a) limiting segregating or classifying a disabled job applicant in such a manner that adversely affects his work opportunities;

(b) using qualification standards, employment tests or other selection criteria that screen out or tend to screen out a disabled person unless such standards, tests or other selection criteria are shown to be job-related for the position in question and are consistent with business necessity;

(c) utilising standards, criteria, or methods of administration that:

(1) have the effect of discrimination on the basis of disability; or

(2) perpetuate the discrimination of others who are subject to common

administrative control;

(d) providing less compensation, such as salary, wage or other forms of remuneration and fringe benefits, to a qualified disabled employee, by reason of his disability, than the amount to which a non-disabled person performing the same work is entitled;

(e) favouring a non-disabled employee over a qualified disabled employee with respect to promotion, training opportunities, study and scholarship grants, solely on account of the latter’s disability;

(f) reassigning or transferring a disabled employee to a job or position he cannot perform by reason of his disability;

(g) dismissing or terminating the services of a disabled employee by reason of his disability unless the employer can prove that he impairs the satisfactory performance of the work involved to the prejudice of the business entity: provided, however, that the employer first sought to provide reasonable accommodation for disabled persons;

(h) failing to select or administer in the most effective manner employment tests which accurately reflect the skills, aptitude or other factor of the disabled applicant or employee that such test purports to measure, rather than the impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills of such applicant or employee, if any; and

(j) excluding disabled persons from membership in labour unions or similar organisations.

Section 33. Employment entrance examination. Upon an offer of employment, a disabled applicant may be subjected to medical examination, on the following occasions:

(a) all entering employees are subjected to such an examination regardless of disability;

(b) information obtained during the medical condition or history of the applicant is collected and maintained on separate forms and in separate medical files and is treated as a confidential medical record, provided, however, that:

(1) supervisors and managers may be informed regarding necessary restrictions on the work or duties of the employees and necessary accommodations;

(2) first aid and safety personnel may be informed, when appropriate, if the disability might require emergency treatment;

(3) government officials investigating compliance with this Act shall be provided relevant information on request; and

(4) the results of such examination are used only in accordance with

this Act. I