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๐๐–๐ƒ๐ฌ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ค ๐ข๐ฆ๐ฆ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ข๐ง ๐’๐๐Œ๐€ ๐จ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ข๐œ๐ž๐ฌ, ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐›๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ก๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ

Some 50 persons with disabilities (PWDs) experience work immersion in various offices of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), other business establishments here and in Olongapo City.

This, after the SBMA recently forged a partnership with the local government of Olongapo City to facilitate the work immersion of PWDs inside this premier Freeport.

The SBMAโ€™s Labor Department, as well as the Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) Olongapo City, the Work Immersion Program for PWDs in Government and Private Business Establishments are aimed at providing PWDs a ten-day actual work experience in companies here and in Olongapo City.

๐‘†๐ต๐‘€๐ด ๐ถโ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘–๐‘Ÿ๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘› ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐ด๐‘‘๐‘š๐‘–๐‘›๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐ธ๐‘‘๐‘ข๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘‘๐‘œ ๐ฝ๐‘œ๐‘ ๐‘’ ๐ฟ. ๐ด๐‘™๐‘–๐‘›ฬƒ๐‘œ ๐‘๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘ ๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘™๐‘ฆ ๐‘”๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘’๐‘ก๐‘  ๐‘ƒ๐‘Š๐ท๐‘  ๐‘–๐‘› ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘ค๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘˜ ๐‘–๐‘š๐‘š๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘ ๐‘–๐‘œ๐‘› ๐‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘œ๐‘”๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘š ๐‘—๐‘œ๐‘–๐‘›๐‘ก๐‘™๐‘ฆ ๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘”๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘–๐‘ง๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘๐‘ฆ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘†๐ต๐‘€๐ด ๐ฟ๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐ท๐‘’๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘ก๐‘š๐‘’๐‘›๐‘ก ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘ƒ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘ ๐‘œ๐‘› ๐‘ค๐‘–๐‘กโ„Ž ๐ท๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘–๐‘™๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘ฆ ๐ด๐‘“๐‘“๐‘Ž๐‘–๐‘Ÿ๐‘  ๐‘‚๐‘“๐‘“๐‘–๐‘๐‘’ (๐‘ƒ๐ท๐ด๐‘‚) ๐‘‚๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘”๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘œ ๐ถ๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘ฆ.

According to Labor Department Manager Atty. Melvin Varias, there are a total of 50 PWDs who were given the chance to workโ€”34 of them are deployed to companies inside the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

โ€œOf the 34 PWDs, ten worked at the Grand United Property and Service Management, Inc.; eight were sent to the Subic Bay Travelers Hotel and Event Center; four worked at the Eddie and Julie G Food Corp. at the Jollibee Main Gate; three worked at the SBMAโ€™s Financial Planning and Budget Department; three went to the SBMAโ€™s Accounting Department; five worked here at the SBMA Labor Department; and one was sent to the SBMA Office Services Department,โ€ Varias said.

Meanwhile, PDAO Head Rizalino Jose bared that the proposal for the Work Immersion Program was conceptualized in March of this year. He said that during this program, PWDs will be given opportunities to value, experience and prove their worth as equals with the typical workforce.

โ€œOur target PWD beneficiaries range from mild to manageable disabilities,โ€ he added.

Jose said that their daily minimum wage salary rate of P580 will be funded by the Office of City Mayor Rolen Paulino Jr., adding that the first batch of internship was held last May 27 to June 7, while the second batch is from June 10-21, 2024.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Eduardo Jose L. Aliรฑo lauded the work immersion program for PWDs, citing that the Subic Bay Freeport is the perfect venue for PWDs to experience that there is equality in the workplace.

โ€œOur Labor Department is working hard to provide a harmonious working environment inside the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. By providing PWDs with the opportunity to work at companies here, it only proves that the SBMA does not tolerate discrimination in the workplace,โ€ he said.

Currently, the Subic Bay Freeport zone has a workforce of 159,762 as of April 2024. This will eventually increase as new investors continue to establish their businesses here.

โ€œThese new companies investing in Subic Freeport would mean a possible expansion of the workplace immersion program for PWDs, giving more opportunities for them to prove that they can be productive citizens of the country,โ€ Aliรฑo said.

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