Persons with disabilities gather in SM job fair Thursday, July 5, 2012
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines - Persons with disabilities (PWDs) were given job opportunities in SM Supermalls' job and skills fair themed "ICT: Enabling People (ICT Job Fair and Skills Fair for PWD.
SM Supermalls said that it held the job and skills fair in celebration of the National Information and Communications Technology Month. The event was held at the SM North Edsa Cyberzone area.
"The job fair emphasizes the importance of PWDs having the same rights when it comes to job opportunities," SM said in a statement.
It said that the event, which showcased at least 2,000 job offers in the IT industry, provided PWDs a venue to showcase their potentials and skills.
SM said that hundreds of PWDs participated in the job and skills fair.
"Many were lucky enough to be called for further interviews from participating companies," SM said.
Among the applicants were Erin Jagong of Fairview, Quezon City and Charles Rodriguez of Novaliches.
Jagong is a mobility-impaired person while Rodriguez was born without two-arms but can draw animations using only his legs. Rodriguez's mother, Paz Rodriguez, has been his number one fan who always reminds him that his disability is not a hindrance in achieving his dream of becoming a professional animator.
“I want to thank SM Supermalls for this PWD job fair. Discrimination is a problem for us PWDs when it comes to applying for a job. Individuals without disabilities are always hired even if PWDs have the same skills with them. It makes me happy that for the first time, PWDs have a chance to apply for a job that is relative to their skills. I hope SM will continue to support PWDs and come out with more and bigger PWD job fairs in the future,” Jagong said.
For his part, Rodriguez said: “This job fair is really a blessing for us PWDs and I thank SM for supporting this event. In the past, I have a hard time finding a job since job fairs is only limited to individuals without disabilities. Now that we have our own PWD job fair I’m hoping that I can find an online and work-at-home job in animation because it’s difficult for me to travel since I have no arms.”
Eric Emmanuel Tansingco, founder and owner of Take One Animation, said “each one has an equal chance” even those who have disabilities.
Tansingco's group offers free scholarships and trainings for PWDs who are interested in animation. He dedicates himself in helping PWDs develop their skills through his animation studio in Quezon City.
“Take One animation is blessed so we may bless others especially the PWDs. I thank SM Supermalls for providing the location for this PWD job fair because I firmly believe that PWDs are capable of doing something that a normal person can do and that’s what motivates me to continue helping them,” he said.
SM Supermalls serve as a stage for PWD job fairs and events of the different disability sectors in the country. Through the SM Cares Program on Disability Affairs, SM installed facilities that are accessible and barrier-free and its 15,000 locators have a chance of considering employment for PWDs.
SM also transforms its front-liners such as janitors and security guards into advocates of PWDs. It educates tenants and staff to break away the physical and mental barriers that disable customers with special needs and enable them and their families to have a friendlier and more enjoyable shopping experience.