Courtesy seats for PWDs, seniors, pregnant women now mandatory in QC

Robie de Guzman   •   March 7, 2019   •   4084

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The local government of Quezon City has ordered all establishments in the city to designate courtesy seats for Persons with disability (PWDs), pregnant women and senior citizens, under Ordinance No. 2804 S-2018.

The recently-approved policy also compels private and public establishments in Quezon City to provide additional seating and a courtesy seat signage for PWDs, expecting mothers and the elderly.

In case the designated seats are being occupied by other people, establishment owners and managers must exercise their authority to have the seat vacated for PWDs, seniors and pregnant customers.

The ordinance is aimed at extending additional reasonable accommodation to address their special needs and concerns, apart from the existing national laws establishing special lanes and other privileges for the said sectors.

Under the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the measure, the local offices of Social Services, PWD Affairs, Senior Citizens Affairs, and the Business Permit and Licensing are tasked to strictly implement, monitor and inspect the establishments for compliance.

Owners, managers and operators of establishments who fail to implement the new policy will receive a notice of violation or warning for the first offense.

A fine of P5,000 and/or suspension of business permit for six months on the second offense and a fine of P5,000 and/or revocation of business permits shall be meted out to establishments found to have violated the policy for the third time.  

For government institutions, the notice of warning will be issued to the head of office or department that failed to comply with the local policy. – Robie de Guzman

DSWD warns public against fake text messages on relief funds for senior citizens

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is warning the public against fake text messages about alleged social welfare relief funds for senior citizens.

The DSWD reiterated that the social welfare relief funds or assistance for senior citizens stated in the circulating text messages does not exist in the department.

The department also appealed to the public to avoid engaging in such activities  as well as sharing their personal details.

For official information on DSWD activities, interested parties may visit the department’s official websites and social media pages. AAC

DTI to craft guidelines on senior citizen, PWD discounts for online purchases

Marje Pelayo   •   December 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Complaints are piling up with the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) regarding persons with disability (PWDs) who are not being given discounts from transactions made online particularly through a third party delivery service.

However, they do get discounts when booking directly with the restaurant or through the fast food chain’s website or app.

“Sa mga third party na wala naman silang kinalaman sa mga tindahan mismo ay nagkakaproblema tayo (It is the third party — that has nothing to do with the merchants in the first place — that we are having problems with),” NCDA Executive Director Emer Rojas said.

This is one of the challenges facing the PWD community since the start of quarantine restrictions in the country when most establishments limit physical transactions due to the risk of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmission.

Given the limitations on their movement and the threat of infection, PWDs are very much dependent on online transactions to purchase basic necessities. 

Atty. Vic Dimagiba of Laban Konsyumer agrees that a set of guidelines addressing the matter must be crafted .

“Kailangan ng implementing guidelines para ang mga senior citizen at persons with disability ay makapag avail ng kanilang senior citizens discount and privileges kapag online shopping (An implementing guideline for senior citizens and PWDs is necessary so they can avail of discounts and privileges when shopping online),” he said.

For its part, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is planning a consultation with stakeholders in order to craft a mechanism that will entitle senior citizens and PWDs to discounts even from third parties.

“In the meantime, iyong mga consumers natin na senior or persons with disability baka pwede silang dumeretso muna sa merchant para makabili sila ng kanilang kailangan (consumers who are senior citizens and PWDs may purchase directly from merchants for their needs) instead of passing through a third party operator to make sure na makakakuha sila ng discount (that they will get a discount), said USec. Ruth Castelo of DTI.

The NCDA is appealing to third party operators to acknowledge or honor the PWD ID even if they are presented electronically so they can at least save some amount from the transaction.

Doon sa mga third party kung mapapakita na yung ID at maipakita sa cellphone yung ID ay dapat i-honor na naman nila (Third parties should honor IDs presented to them),” Rojas said.

Pagka deliver niyan makikita rin noong third party delivery services kung iyong umorder ay siya o kung halimbawa iyong may kapansanan ay hindi makalabas ng bahay siguro naman nandoon siya sa bintana at pwede siyang magpakita ( Upon delivery, the third party delivery service would be able to tell anyway if the person who placed the order is a person with disability. If unable to come out, the PWD can just go to the window),” he added.

The NCDA noted that a 32% discount in goods and services is a huge help for senior citizens and PWDs. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

QC gov’t probes PWD ID card scam

Marje Pelayo   •   June 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government said it will be suspending the processing of Persons with Disability (PWD) identification cards  from Thursday (June 25) to Friday (June 26) to craft new guidelines that will eliminate abuse.

“We will use the two days to come up with the needed safeguards to ensure that only those deserving get the PWD cards,” said Mayor Joy Belmonte.

“Our protocols will be revisited and needed controls will be placed so the system will not be abused by greedy and opportunistic individuals,” she added.

Mayor Belmonte added that the decision was made following reports of PWD ID cards being issued to unqualified individuals specifically members of a well-off family. 

Belmonte ordered an investigation into claims that six immediate members of a well-off family managed to acquire PWD ID cards in 2018 without submitting any of the mandatory requirements.

Reports said the involved parties paid P2,000 each for the said cards.

Belmonte revealed that the culprit behind the scam has already been identified and will be given a show-cause order.

He is given 72 hours to explain why he shouldn’t be held administratively and criminally liable, according to City Attorney Nino Casimiro.

If proven guilty, the said employee will face a grave misconduct case, which merits a penalty of dismissal from service.

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