Duterte signs law granting mandatory PhilHealth coverage for PWDs

Marje Pelayo   •   March 5, 2019   •   2862

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the measure that automatically entitles all persons with disability (PWD) membership to the National Health Insurance Program or PhilHealth coverage.

Signed by the President on February 22, Republic Act No. 11228 states that premium contributions for all PWDs will be paid by the national government while those in the formal economy will be shared by the PWD and his employer.

The law will be funded with proceeds from the excise tax on tobacco products.

It also orders the PhilHealth to design packages that will address the specific health needs of PWDs.

The new measure takes effect 15 days after its formal publication in a newspaper of general circulation. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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.

QC issues stricter measures in issuing PWD IDs

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 26, 2020

The Quezon City Government will enforce stricter measures in issuing Person with Disability (PWD) identification cards after reports of prevalent use of fraudulent PWD IDs.

Memorandum Circular No. 16 was signed by QC Mayor Joy Belmonte which tasked the Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office (PDAO) to verify an applicant’s claim of having a disability that is not visible.

“These guidelines aim to help prevent fraud in the issuance and use of PWD IDs while ensuring that legitimate PWDs can continue to obtain their IDs in an expeditious manner,” said Belmonte.

“The PDAO will schedule the applicant at one of our hospitals and have them undergo a personal assessment by the appropriate specialist medical doctor,” the local chief executive said.

PWD applicants must also submit proof that they are residents of Quezon City, such as a government ID with an address or barangay certificate of residency and a 2×2 ID picture.

Belmonte also reported that the six-member family, who allegedly have PWD IDs even without any supporting documents, was identified. A show-cause order was also issued for them to explain their case. AAC

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