Angara seeks a review of the process for PWD Card issuance  

Posted on: Thu, 06/25/2020 - 12:17 By: admin

Alarmed by reports of a growing number of individuals abusing the discounts granted to persons with disabilities (PWD) under the law, Senator Sonny Angara is calling for an inquiry into the proliferation of “fake” PWD identification cards.

As one of the authors and sponsor of Republic Act 10754 or the law expanding the benefits and privileges of PWDs, Angara said there is a need to review the process for the issuance of the PWD ID cards now that there seems to be a growing number of people who have acquired these cards through fraudulent means.

In filing Senate Resolution No. 455, Angara noted that the issue of “fake” PWD ID cards is not new but has once again emerged after a viral photo showing an entire family with PWD cards recently made the rounds in social media.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the viral photo has led to several restaurant owners complaining and reaching out to his office about the alleged fraudulent use of PWD ID cards at their establishments.

“RA 10754 is intended to provide PWDs the opportunity to participate fully into the mainstream of society by providing them with at least 20% discount and exemption from the value added tax on the purchase of goods and services such as food, movie tickets, medicine and transport fares. It is unconscionable, to say the least, for some people to abuse this for their own benefit,” Angara said.

“We need to tighten up the process involved in issuing these cards so that only legitimate PWDs will enjoy the benefits under the law,” he added.

Based on the guidelines issued by the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), the PWD ID card is issued to any bonafide PWD with permanent disabilities due to any one or more of the following conditions: psychosocial, chronic illness, learning, mental, visual, orthopedic, speech and hearing conditions.

This includes persons suffering from disabling diseases resulting to the person’s limitations to do day to day activities as normally as possible such as but not limited to those undergoing dialysis, heart disorders, severe cancer cases and such other similar cases resulting to temporary or permanent disability.

The registration and issuance of PWD ID cards is done at the local government level either by the city or municipal mayor or barangay captain.

Last Wednesday, the legal officer of the local government of Quezon City was quoted as saying that there were no application forms or supporting documents on record for the six members of the family in the viral photo and that the release of their PWD ID cards may have been facilitated by a city employee. The same official said there was a possibility the cards issued were fake.

The DTI’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau is investigating the alleged proliferation of PWD ID cards and has called on establishments and citizens to report this form of corruption to the NCDA, the National Bureau of Investigation and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission.

“The exploitation on the use of the benefits and privileges specifically intended to help alleviate any financial burden encountered by PWDs should not be tolerated especially at this time when establishments like restaurants, entertainment centers and hotels are still struggling from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Angara said.

“A review of the implementation of this provision of the law is clearly needed so that the appropriate safeguards would be introduced to ensure only those who are in actual need of the benefits and privileges are granted such while also protecting the establishments against abuses,” he added.