Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz is reminding  employers who employ persons with work-related disabilities to avail of tax incentives under RA 7277, otherwise known as Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

As chair of the Employees’ Compensation Commission,  Baldoz said that the Employees’ Compensation Program’s primary beneficiaries,  persons with work – related disabilities,  are entitled to the benefits provided under RA 7277 thus,  their employers can avail of the  tax incentives accorded in the said law.

Citing  a  report of ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis,  Secretary Baldoz said that persons with work-related disabilities who availed of EC benefits  through ECC’s implementing agencies – the GSIS and SSS –  and those who availed of the ECC-Katulong at Gabay sa Manggagawang may Kapansanan  (KaGabay) Program were either rehired by their previous employers or hired by new employers.   On these cases,  employers are informed that they can avail of tax incentives provided under RA 7277.

Section 8 of  RA 7277 provides that  private entities employing   persons with disabilities (PWDs) 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 twenty-five percent (25%) of the total amount paid as salaries and wages to  persons with disabilities.  Provided, however,  that such entities present a certification from the Department of Labor and Employment that the PWDs are under their employ and a certification from the Department of Health as to his disability.  The Regional Offices of DOLE all over the country issue  the DOLE certification.

The said law further provides that entities that improved their physical facilities in order to provide reasonable accommodation for  PWDs shall also be entitled to an additional deduction from their net taxable income, equivalent to fifty percent (50%) of the direct costs of the improvements or modifications. This, however, does not apply to improvements or modifications of facilities required under Batas Pambansa Bilang 344, also known as  the .Accessibility Law.

Secretary  Baldoz directed the ECC to include  in their ECP advocacy  seminars nationwide the aspect of tax incentive to employers to encourage their active participation  in promoting the welfare of PWDs  and to ensure gainful employment for qualified persons with disabilities, including persons with work-related disabilities.