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  • Morales signed the new statute during a ceremony at Government Palace in La Paz.

    Morales signed the new statute during a ceremony at Government Palace in La Paz. | Photo: EFE

Under the new law, 4 percent of the public sector workforce must be disabled men and women. 

Bolivian President Evo Morales has enacted a law to guarantee job stability for workers with serious disabilities.

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The law also establishes a job quota for disabled people and offers a monthly payment of US$36 for those who are no longer able to work.

Morales signed the new statute during a ceremony at Government Palace in La Paz, which was attended by the nation's Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera, as well as ministers, ruling party lawmakers and representatives of disabled people.

In his address, the president said: "it is a joy for me to enact this law" for the disabled, adding that the payment of US$36 a month will be financed by municipal governments with the support of the central government.

"This ruling also affects employers: 4 percent of those employed by the public sector and 2 percent employed by the private sector must be disabled men and women," he said.

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According to statistics provided this week by the Health Ministry, 67,912 disabled persons were registered by December 2016.

Of that number, 46,062 had serious or very serious disabilities and will benefit from the new job quotas, or receive monthly payments for those unable to work.

Those eligible to receive the benefits must register with the Sole Disabled Persons Register of the Health Ministry and possess an up-to-date disability card.

People with vision problems who are registered with the Bolivian Blindness Institute are excluded from the monthly payment as they already collect aid from the state, but they will be able to benefit from the job quotas, the Health Ministry said.

The monthly municipal payment will take effect in 2018. In the meantime, the government will continue the annual solidarity payments of almost US$144 to the sector, the ministry said.

In 2016, hundreds of disabled persons fought the Bolivian government to demand the annual payment be substituted by a monthly payment of US$72.


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