Bill seeks more job opportunities for PWDs

Marje Pelayo   •   April 15, 2019   •   1198

MANILA, Philippines – A bill that seeks to provide better inclusion for persons with disability (PWD) in the country’s workforce has been filed in Senate.

Senate Bill 1249 filed by Senator Bam Aquino urges the government to open at least two percent of available positions for PWD.

The bill seeks to amend the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons which mandates companies with more than 100 employees to reserve one percent of positions PWDs.

Aquino believes that through the legislation, government offices will be required to ensure that two percent of their employees will comprise of PWDs.

Likewise, private organizations will be required to employ a workforce, at least one percent be made up of PWDs.

Aquino believes any qualified PWD should have access to employment opportunities to be productive members of the country’s labor force just like “able-bodied” personnel.

The bill is still pending at the Senate Committee on Social Welfare, Welfare and Rural Development. – Marje Pelayo

Lapid bill seeks lifetime validity of IDs for persons with permanent disability

Robie de Guzman   •   September 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Lito Lapid on Friday said he has filed a bill seeking to remove the “unnecessary burden” for persons with disabilities (PWD) who are required to renew their identification cards every three years.

In filing Senate Bill No. 1795, Lapid proposes to amend Republic Act 7277 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons to provide a lifetime validity of identification cards issued to persons with permanent disabilities.

Currently, PWDs are required to have their IDs renewed to re-evaluate the entitlement of the holder to the benefits pertaining to their status as person with disability. This is to ensure that the information contained in their IDs reflects the holder’s current disability status.

But Lapid said this re-evaluation does not apply to PWDs with a permanent disability such as pre-existing birth defects, permanent blindness or deafness, loss of limb or body parts.

The senator said requiring such PWDs to renew their ID every three years is “superfluous, burdensome and a waste of government resources.”

He stressed that giving the PWDs with permanent disability a lifetime validity for their PWD ID will spare them the inconvenience of going back to the issuing offices every three years, filling up the renewal forms, falling in line and paying fees and charges, when no changes have occurred as to their disability status.

“Marapat lamang na bigyan ng mas malawak na pang-unawa at konsiderasyon ang mga kababayan nating may kapansanan. Kaya dapat lang na tulungan natin silang mapagaan ang ilang gawain gaya na lamang ng pagkakaroon ng PWD ID para masigurong meron silang sapat na benepisyo at pribilehiyo,” Lapid said in a statement.

“Hindi na sila dapat pahirapan pang i-renew ang kanilang PWD ID lalo na kung ang kapansanan nila ay panghabang-buhay na,” he added.

Under the bill, PWDs with permanent disability must be certified by the municipal or city health officer where the ID holder resides.

The issuing offices should also implement measures to ensure that the lifetime validity of the identification cards is not abused, especially when the ID holder dies.

Lapid called on his fellow lawmakers to immediately pass the bill, noting that it is part of the government’s duty to provide for the needs of the PWDs.

“Tungkulin ng ating gobyerno na tulungan ang ating mga kababayan lalo na ang mga nasa sektor na may higit na pangangailangan gaya ng mga may kapansanan. Maliit na bagay kung tutuusin na siguruhing hindi na mahihirapan pang mag-renew ng PWD ID ang mga kapatid nating panghabang-buhay na ang kundisyon. Kaya hiling ko na agad itong matalakay sa Senado at maipasa bilang batas,” he said.

DSWD allots P100k per field office for PWD assistive devices

Robie de Guzman   •   July 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has announced that starting this year, an annual budget of P100,000 will be allocated for each of its field offices to provide assistive devices for persons with disability (PWD) in the country.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the DSWD said the move is in line with its mandate of providing programs and services to vulnerable sectors, especially the PWDs.

“The person with disability sector is among the most affected by the declaration of community quarantine brought about by the spread of COVID-19 in the country,” it said.

“To help them regain and develop their self and social enhancement, the DSWD, through its Field Offices will provide augmentation support for the assistive devices of blind and low vision, deaf/hearing impaired, and orthopedically and physically challenged individuals,” it added.

The DSWD said these devices may include talking laptops and tablets, talking canes/smart canes, and Braille system for the blind and visually impaired; hearing aids with beamforming technology, customized headphones, and Cochlear implant for deaf and hearing impaired; motorized wheelchair, customized wheelchair, tri-wheelchair bike, talking watch, customized artificial eyes, and neuro-prosthesis for the orthopedically and physically challenged.

“Persons with disability may request for the augmentation support of their assistive devices through the Focal Person on Persons with Disability Welfare Program and Assistance for Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) at the Crisis Intervention Units (CIUs) of the DSWD Field Offices,” the department said.

With the current situation, the DSWD said PWDs may send representatives to apply and claim for assistance at the field offices in their areas.’

Social Welfare Action Development teams in the provinces are also mobilized to accept applications and send these to the Field Offices for processing, it added.

To avail of the assistive devices, the PWDs are advised to prepare and submit the following documents:

  • Medical certificate indicating the disability with date issued
  • Full name and signed by attending physician which will be valid for 3 months
  • Request for assistive devices and quotation showing the amount of the assistive device
  • Barangay Indigency Certificate of the person with disability or client
  • One valid identification card

“The Department hopes that through these assistive devices, the persons with disability will continue to be productive and contributing members of society, despite their disability, in these critical times,” the DSWD said.

DSWD urges public anew to report fraudulent use of PWD IDs

Robie de Guzman   •   June 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Tuesday reiterated its call on the public to report individuals who are illegally using persons with disability (PWD) identification cards.

The DSWD renewed its appeal following reports circulating on social media about people posing as PWDs to avail of the benefits and privileges intended for persons with disabilities.

Administrative Order No. 001, Series of 2008, issued by the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), states that PWD IDs shall only be issued to persons with permanent disabilities due to any one or more of the following conditions: psychosocial, chronic illness, learning, mental, visual, orthopedic, speech, and hearing conditions.

These also include persons suffering from disabling diseases resulting from their limitations to perform day-to-day activities as normally as possible.

Under Republic Act No. 10754 or the Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability, PWDs are given 20% discounts; exemption to value-added tax (VAT); 5% discount on basic necessities and prime commodities; and free use of express lanes in commercial and government transactions.

The department noted that the issuance of the PWD ID will only be through the Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO), located in every city or municipality in the country.

The DSWD warned that falsification of public documents and the use of falsified documents are criminal offenses and are punishable under the Revised Penal Code.

It urged the public to report incidents involving the illegal use of PWD ID to the NCDA through council@ncda.gov.ph or report to the PDAO or to any law enforcement agency.

The DSWD said it will coordinate with concerned agencies to monitor the issue.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier directed local government units to be stricter in the issuance of PWD IDs. It also urged business establishments to report instances on the use of fake PWD IDs to the police and issuing LGUs for proper action.

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