Philippine Supreme Court Hires its First Deaf Employee

This is a welcome news amidst a series of depressing ones. After hearing from known economists painting a bleak outlook on the employment opportunities for Filipinos, here comes a good news. Another deaf person overcame his disability and became the first. 🙂

Arthur Principe
In a precedent-setting move, Chief Justice Reynato Puno approved the application of Arthur Principe, a BS Business Administration major in Management graduate of CAP College School for the Deaf. To know more about CAP, please read my blog post about the history of Philippine Deaf Education. On March 12, Principe started working as part of Associate Justice Arturo Brion’s staff. He was given the position of a co-terminus utility worker, the report added.

Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno has approved the hiring in an effort to give equal employment opportunity to persons with disabilities (PWD). Principe was recommended for employment by Justice Arturo D. Brion who, himself, has a hearing impairment.

Principe started working last March 12 as a utility worker at the office of Justice Brion. He manages files, encodes and photocopies documents, and does errands. He communicates with his officemates mostly through writing and at times through sign language for those who are familiar with it.

Justice Brion’s judicial staff head, lawyer Julieta Y. Carreon, describes Principe as a “very efficient and a good natured person.” “He is no different from the other workers. His disability is not a hindrance to his work. He is very much willing to learn. Working with him is a learning experience for us at the same time,” Carreon said.

According to them, Principe is the first deaf person who worked at the highest court of the land, much like Emilie Padullon worked on the highest office of the country.

I believe aside from CAP College, he was also a product of NOVA-CBM ICT Training Center, a training arm of the Nova Foundation for Differently Abled Persons Inc., a Philippine-based non-government organization. Many of our graduates also benefited from the corporate training Nova gives to the deaf including those hired at the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Principe was also interviewed by a news program “24 Oras” aired by GMA Network.

So to Honorable Chief Justice Puno and Justice Brion, thank you very much for believing in the capabilities of our deaf! To Arthur this blog salutes you! Make the Filipino deaf community proud of your success and blessings. 🙂

May I clarify some points to reporters who write news about the deaf?

  1. Next time you make an article about them, kindly refer to them as simply “DEAF” and NOT “DEAF-MUTE”. This is how they are called non-offensively. This is similar to the way that “colored” was once used to describe African Americans but is now looked upon as derogatory. Many deaf people can speak. They are not short-tongued. This name-calling is really frowned upon by the deaf community worldwide.
  2. Please check your details first before writing your news. In the Manila Bulletin news article made by Rey Panaligan, entitled “Hiring of deaf-mute OK’d” (deaf-mute again!), he wrongly placed CAP College in Pasay City instead of Makati City. People often commit mistakes when they refer to school for the deaf. Everybody knows that Philippine School for the Deaf (PSD) is in Pasay City. It was there since 1907. But not all schools for the deaf are located in Pasay City.
  3. A similar blunder was also made by GMA News when they mentioned in their news entitled, SC accepts first deaf-mute employee, that Principe studied college at PSD. Well, the last time I heard, PSD only offers up to secondary education. They never offer college courses.

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