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Biz group advocates for Inclusion of PWD in workplace, holds Annual Conference 

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The Philippine Business and Disability Network (PBDN), a for-and-by business platform that provides barrier-free workplaces for Persons with Disability, will be holding its third annual conference this July 2, 2024, at the SMX Convention Center Pasay entitled Working Beyond Barriers: When Social Good Meets Business Sense. 

According to the UN Population Fund, “there are 1.5 billion persons with disabilities across the world, among them 80% live in developing countries.”1 An estimated 386 Million of the world’s working-age people have some kind of disability, says the International Labor Organization. And in the Philippines, there are around 12 million people with disabilities according to the PSA. Unemployment among the PWDs is as high as 80% in some countries, illustrating the challenges that the PBDN Conference is attempting to tackle. 

With over 60 member companies, a few notable PBDN partner members include Manulife, Visa, Coca-Cola, Bayer, Teleperformance, JP Morgan Chase, IBM, Citihub, Northern Trust, TaskUs, to name a few. 

The conference aims to bring together champions, industry experts, and advocates of disability inclusion in the workplace to facilitate meaningful discussions, share actionable practices, and inspire individual and collective action towards a shared goal of enabling inclusive workplaces for Persons with Disability. 

This year’s conference features a talk by Work and Disability Expert and ILO’s Global Business and Disability Network Manager, Jürgen Menze. The event will also feature speakers from the government, i.e., the National Council on Disability Affairs or NCDA, the National Economic and Development Authority or NEDA, and the Department of Labor and Employment or DOLE, to discuss the long-term and intangible benefits of an inclusive workplace. Alongside government representatives, PBDN member companies who have proven themselves to be champions of disability inclusion through their recruitment initiatives of Persons with Disability, as well as their establishment of Employee Resource Groups or ERGs within their organizations, will also be showcasing their best practices to other delegates. 

Ramil Dela Cruz, Vice President for Talent Acquisition of JP Morgan Chase & Co., when asked if building an inclusive workplace for persons with disabilities was possible for a large company, he shared “We can be inclusive to Persons with Disability. Because that was the big question we had–Can we do it? So we’ve confirmed that as a whole organization with over 270,000 employees that we can do it. For the employees, we see that they can flourish in an organization like JP Morgan. That is a perfect marriage.” 

Grant Javier, Executive Director of PBDN shares of this year’s conference, “For a long time, businesses have looked at employing Persons with Disability with the charity lens. We are doing them a favor as we hire them. This has changed a lot in recent years, especially with the work that we do in PBDN. More businesses now are realizing that they are the ones losing out if they do not practice workplace disability inclusion. For this year’s conference, more companies will be sharing their best practices and cementing the idea that employing talents with a disability is indeed good for the business.” 

Companies wishing to participate in the PBDN Conference may register via for members and for non-members. For further inquiries, interested sponsors and partners, please contact 

PBDN Conference 2024 is sponsored by: Manulife, Visa, Coca-Cola Beverages Inc., TaskUs, Bayer, Northern Trust, S&P Global, Southstar Drug, Concentrix, B&M Global Services Manila, Asurion 

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