Tag Archive: Persons with Disabilities


07 - 24 -1 (1)

It has been more than a year since we featured House Bill No. 5060 or the Philippine Identification System Act.  This is the bill that will require all Filipinos to be issued a national identification card that will serve as their main identification for all government transactions, claims, use of government-mandated benefits, and applying for clearances from the NBI and PNP.   At that time, the said bill has just been signed and approved by the House of Representatives and was passed on to the Senate for deliberation.

While the country is eagerly awaiting the finality the National ID System Act, the Department of Finance (DOF) came up with an additional proposal to tap the ID as a means to determine an individual’s privilege to certain subsidies, discounts, and tax exemptions under the law.

How do these additional parameters affect the National ID System’s initial purpose?

Apart from the National ID being an all-in-one valid ID (except as a Driver’s License and Passport), the DOF is proposing that it contain biometrics data to determine a citizen’s entitlement to certain subsidies and benefits provided by the government.

For example, if a PWD is entitled to discounts on medicines, fare, and education, his (national) ID alone should be enough to determine his eligibility for such discounts.  Another possibility that the DOF is looking at is to activate an EMV (Europay-Mastercard-Visa) chip in the card.  Through this chip, the card can double as an ATM card where the owner may receive cash subsidies from the government, if he or she is legally entitled to such benefits.  It simplifies the identification and benefits disbursement process, both for the government and the recipient.

Do these new proposals affect the anticipated release and distribution of the IDs?

It does.

The issuance of the IDs will be done in batches.  Since the DOF has expressed its intention of tapping the National ID to address the long process of applying and claiming benefits for individuals with special needs, senior citizens and persons with disabilities are seen to be the first recipients of these IDs.  Soon after, members of the 5.2 million poor households that are not yet covered by the conditional cash transfer program of the DSWD will follow.

All in all, the government plans to provide IDs to the more than 100 million Filipinos in two years’ time, after the bill is enacted into law.

Who will issue the IDs?

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) shall be responsible for the proper issuance of the ID cards.

We will keep this thread updated on the progress of the proposed National ID System.  If you have any questions or related information you would like to share, please feel free to send us a message.  We will do our best to find the answers for you.

Sources:

www.psa.gov.ph

www.dof.gov.ph

www.philstar.com

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05 - 09

Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), like our beloved Senior Citizens, are rightfully entitled to additional benefits and privileges such as discounts and VAT exemptions at pharmacies, groceries, and dining establishments.  They should also be given priority in public transportation and parking spaces, cashier lines, and access ways such as elevators and escalators.

For everybody’s information, we summarized the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 10754 or the Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability (PWDs).  This was signed by the DSWD, DOH, and the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) last December 2016, and is enforced in all parts of the country.  This should help us appreciate the privileges entitled to the PWDs in our families, workplaces, and communities.

I. Discounts and VAT Exemptions

  1. At least 20% discount and VAT exemption on goods and services availed at the following establishments:
    • Hotel and similar lodging establishments
    • Restaurants
    • Recreation centers
    • Theaters, cinema houses, concert halls, circuses, carnivals, and other similar places of culture, leisure, and amusement.
    • Medicine
    • Medical and dental services, including diagnostic and laboratory fees and professional fees of attending doctors in all private hospitals and medical facilities (subject to guidelines to be issued by the Department of Health in coordination with Philippine Health Insurance Corporation)
    • Domestic air and sea travel
    • Public railways, skyways, and other public utility vehicles (including buses, jeeps, taxis, and shuttle services).
    • Funeral and burial services for the death of the PWD.
  2. 5% discount on the following:
    • Basic necessities such as:
      • Rice, corn, bread, fresh or dried and canned fish and other marine products, fresh pork, beef and poultry meat, fresh eggs, fresh and processed milk, infant formula, fresh vegetables, root crops, coffee, sugar, cooking oil, salt, laundry soap, detergents, firewood, charcoal, candles and other commodities as may be classified by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA).
    • Prime commodities such as:
      • Fresh fruits, dried or processed or canned pork, beef and poultry, meat, dairy products not falling under basic necessities, noodles, onions, garlic, diapers, herbicides, poultry, swine and cattle feeds, veterinary products for poultry, swine and cattle, paper, school supplies, nipa shingle, plyboard, construction nails, batteries, electrical supplies, light bulbs, steel wire, and other commodities that may be classified by the DTI and DA.
      • Purchase must not exceed Php 1,300 per week to enjoy the 5% discount.

II. Guidelines when availing discounts:

  1. A purchase booklet must be presented to the store or retailer every time a purchase of basic necessities and prime commodities is made.
  2. Double discounts is strictly prohibited; the privilege shall not be granted if the PWD claims a higher discount as may be granted by the retail establishment and/or under other existing laws or in combination with other discount programs such as those extended to senior citizens.
  3. If the PWD is not able to physically purchase the basic necessities, he must appoint an authorized representative through a date authorization letterThe representative must present a valid government-issued identification document together with the LGU-issued identification document of the concerned PWD.

III. Other benefits and mandates under the IRR:

  1. The law covers educational assistance for all levels, social insurance through GSIS, SSS, and Pag-IBIG.
  2. Express lane privileges in all commercial and government establishments.
  3. Tax incentives for those caring for and living with persons with disability up to the fourth degree of affinity or consanguinity.
  4. The benefits and privileges are available only to PWD who are Filipino citizens and upon submission of identifications that would prove his or her entitlement.
  5. In this regard, the PWD is free to present any of the following IDs and these must be honored by establishments:
    • An ID issued by the city or municipal mayor or the barangay captain of the place where the PWD resides;
    • Passport of PWD;
    • Transportation discount fare ID issued by the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP).
  6. Different cities and provinces have special ordinances implemented in their respective areas for PWDs:
    • PWDs residing in Quezon City enjoy free movie admission on Mondays and Tuesdays until 5pm at QC malls.
    • Zamboanga City has a Community Action and Resources for Accessible, Better and Leverage Environment (CARe-ABLE) for PWDs, providing enhanced social protection projects and activities for PWDs.

You may contact your city or municipal hall for the details of special programs for PWDs in the area.

It pays to be well-informed to ensure that you get to enjoy the perks and privileges granted by our government for special cases in our communities.  Share this with families and friends!

Sources:

http://www.gov.ph

http://www.ncda.gov.ph

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03 - 20

Madz works as a call center agent in a multi-national company in Makati.  She delivers her job well, has an impeccable attendance record, and is an effective team player.

Madz is also a Person with Disability (PWD); she lost her ability to walk after being stricken with polio at 3 years old.  She grew up maneuvering a wheelchair whenever she needs to go from one room to another.  Yet she did not let this disability become a detriment to her dreams of becoming a successful corporate executive like her father.  She will stop at nothing to get to her dreams.

Her medical expenses could sometimes cause huge dents in the family’s budget.  So even while studying, Madz would take odd jobs at school like helping out in the library or sitting in as an assistant to the Registrar during enrollment season.  She would grab any opportunity to earn extra money to help her get through college.  She wanted to liberate her parents from her medical expenses as soon as she can.  Now that she is employed, she pays for all her medicines and doctor’s appointments out of the money she earns as a call center agent.  It helps that some of her medical needs are covered by their company’s HMO and her Philhealth.

While Madz’s salary is well above the minimum wage, her growing medical expenses have started taking its toll on her monthly budget.  If only she could get more discounts on her medicine purchases and hospital expenses, she would be able to at least enjoy part of her hard-earned salary.  She tried her luck by asking the Philhealth if PWDs like herself are considered automatic members of Philhealth like Senior Citizens.

The answer was “No”.  Unlike Seniors who become “lifetime members” upon reaching the age of 60, PWDs still need to make monthly contributions to the Philhealth in order to enjoy the benefits afforded by the agency to Filipinos.

There is Hope.

Lawmakers are seeking to have RA 7277 or the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability amended in order to grant mandatory Philhealth coverage to all Persons with Disability.  The bill covers the following purposes:

  • This bill provides all PWDs with automatic health insurance coverage under the PHIC.
  • To support their enrollment to Philhealth, the national government shall pay for their premium payments to be sourced from the sin tax collections in accordance with Republic Act No. 10351 otherwise known as “An Act Restructuring the Excise Tax on Alcohol and Tobacco Products.”

This move came about after the UN Convention enjoined all member-states to ensure that PWDs enjoy their rights, freedom and dignity.  The same body defined PWDs as those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairments which may hinder their full and effective participation in the society on an equal basis with others.

The bill is yet to be approved; once enacted into law, all PWDs shall be able to enjoy the benefits of Philhealth and be freed from the financial burden of availing the health care services they need.  The government shall fund their health insurances out of the sin tax collections in accordance with RA 10351 or the Act Restructuring the Excise Tax on Alcohol and Tobacco Products.

Philhealth’s Role in Uplifting the Privileges of PWDs

Meantime that the government is working at improving the health insurances of PWDs, Philhealth continues to look out for opportunities to advance their support in making the lives of Pinoy PWDs more comfortable through specialized health packages.

One such package is the Z-Morph Prosthesis Package worth Php 15,000.00, launched in 2013.  This is granted to members or dependents in need of lower limb prosthesis, a device replacing a missing part of a person’s lower extremities.  All a member has to do to avail of this benefit is show his Philhealth card; this is initially available in three hospitals in Metro Manila: UE-RMMC, Philippine General Hospital, and Philippine Orthopedic Center.

While the government continues to explore more opportunities to expand the benefit packages for PWDs, affected individuals will have to continue making monthly contributions out of their salaries, or be listed as a beneficiary of a bona fide relative or family who is a Philhealth member, in order to avail of health benefits and privileges from the government.

For more information on the special packages offered by Philhealth to PWDs, visit their website at www.philhealth.gov.ph

Sources:

https://www.philhealth.gov.ph/members/

http://www.rappler.com/

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How To Get a PWD ID

PWD

The Philippines upholds and respects the Magna Carta of Disabled Persons. Through Republic Act 7277, Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) are granted the right to belong to our society and be given support to improve their well-being, promote self-development and self-reliance, and provide them the same opportunities as other people.

If you are a PWD or have a family member, relative, friend, colleague, or schoolmate who is, be informed that the government has conferred privileges and incentives exclusively for you. Likewise, you are encouraged to apply for and get a PWD ID.

Here is a guide you can use when preparing the requirements and facilitating your application for a PWD ID. These were lifted from http://www.gov.ph/services/pwd/.

Requirements:

  1. Filled out application form, either by applicant or his / her caregiver. Forms may be obtained in any of the following offices:
    • Office of the Mayor
    • Office of the Barangay Captain
    • National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) or its regional counterpart
    • DSWD Offices
    • Participating organizations with memorandum of agreements with the Department of Health
  2. Two pieces 1×1 ID pictures.
  3. A duly signed clinical abstract by any licensed private, government clinic, or hospital-based physician.

Procedure:

  1. Applicant or care-giver must fill up the application form, attaching the two 1×1 ID pictures and signed clinical abstract.
  2. Applicant, caregiver, or registration center personnel must then bring or upload the application to the nearest City or Municipal Health Officer or its satellite or stations at the barangay for verification.
    • If the PWD is not ambulatory, the receiving health officer shall do a home visit to validate the entries and disability.
    • Applications that were disapproved shall be advised regarding the deficiencies and shall be allowed to reapply until complied.
  3. Once verified, the forms will be sent to the Health Officer of the Main City or Municipal Health Center. The Health Officer will then fill up a certification form, affix a control number, and upload the information to the Philippine Registry for Persons with Disabilities that can be downloaded from the DOH National Office Website.
  4. Applicant must bring the duly approved application form and certificate of disability to the City or Municipal Social Welfare office or NCDA for issuance of the identification card.

Privileges and Incentives

  1. 20% Discount
    • Discounts for purchase of medicines
    • Admission fee privileges
    • Medical and dental services in government and private hospitals
    • Transportation privileges
  2. Educational Assistance
    • Provided they meet the minimum admission requirements set by the DepED, CHED, TESDA, and other entities engaged in the grant of scholarship.
  3. Privileges on granting special discounts in special programs
    • Government may grant special discounts in special programs for PWDs on purchase of basic necessities and prime commodities in supermarkets and grocery stores.
  4. Express Lane Privileges
    • Express lanes for persons with disability shall be provided in all private, commercial, and government establishments.
    • In the absence thereof, priority shall be given to them in all the transactions of the establishments. LGUs shall ensure that this provision is implemented within their area of jurisdiction.
  5. Tax incentives for caregivers of PWDs (http://www.gov.ph/services/pwd/tax-incentives-for-care-givers-of-pwds/)
    • Married individuals with child/children with disability
    • Solo parens (under RA No. 8972 also known as the Solo Parent Act) with child/children with disability.
    • Grandparents with grandchild/grandchildren with disability

The details of item number 5 are in the link provided above.

Feel free to share this with your family and friends.

 Source: http://www.gov.ph/services/pwd/

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