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

Robie de Guzman   •   September 4, 2020   •   402

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.

Lapid wants nationwide gadget donation, recycling program to help poor students

Robie de Guzman   •   September 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Lito Lapid on Friday said he has filed a bill seeking to establish an “ electronics donation and recycling program” that aims to help students from poor families have tablets and mobile phones needed for distance learning education amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Under Senate Bill No. 1846, Lapid proposes to mandate manufacturers and retailers of electronic gadgets to set up donation and recycling booths in their sales outlets and service centers for the purpose of processing and accepting old electronic devices like laptops and mobile phones that owners want to donate or recycle.

“Maraming mga estudyante at guro ang walang magamit na cellphone o computer habang nasa online classes tayo dahil sa pandemya,” he said in a statement.

“Nag-aalala tayo na ang kawalan ng gadget kasama na ang problema sa internet sa bansa ay maaring maging dahilan para di na lamang tumuloy sa pag-aaral ang ating mga kabataan sa panahong ito ng pandemya kung saan pinatutupad ang distance learning,” he added.

“Maiibsan sana ang kawalang ito ng ating mga mag-aaral kung may magdodonate lamang ng kanilang lumang gadget na gumagana pa naman,” he further stated.

Citing a 2020 study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, Lapid said only 69% of poor households have mobile phones, while only 1% and 6% of poor and low-income families have computers, respectively.

A University of the Philippines study also found that by the year 2021, the number of discarded phones will hit over 24.9 million.

Respondents of the study said they were replacing phones at a rate of once every one to two years.

Under the proposal, gadgets collected from booths that are intended for donation will be forwarded to the Department of Education for distribution to poor students; while the devices intended for recycling will be turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-accredited facilities capable of recycling electronic gadgets and its components.

Aside from helping poor students cope with distance learning, Lapid said the measure also seeks to protect the environment by reducing electronic wastes.

“Dalawang mahalagang layunin ang magagampanan ng panukalang ito– protektahan ang ating kalikasan sa pamamagitan ng pagbawas sa pagtapon ng mga lumang electronic devices habang malaking tulong ang inaasahang matatanggap ng mga kapos-palad nating mga estudyante mula sa donasyong gadgets ng ating mga kababayang hangad ding makatulong sa panahong ito ng matinding pagsubok,” he said.

Bill seeking jail time, fine for repeated cancellation of food, grocery deliveries filed at Senate

Robie de Guzman   •   July 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Lito Lapid on Tuesday said he has filed a bill that seeks to penalize repeated and unjustified cancellation of food and grocery deliveries and provide protection to delivery riders who end up paying for the cost of unclaimed items.

Senate Bill 1677 proposes to impose a jail time of one month and one day up to six months for repeated acts of unjustified cancellation of confirmed orders. The penalty will apply if a customer cancels for at least three times in a period of one month.

The customer will also need to pay a fine of P100,000.

The bill likewise requires the service providers to establish a reimbursement scheme in favor of the delivery riders/drivers which will cover the entire amount of money advanced to purchase the items, in case of cancelation of confirmed orders. Reimbursements to the riders must be made within a day from cancellation.

Service providers who fail to set up a reimbursement scheme will be meted out a fine of P500,000.00 and will have to double the amount of money not reimbursed to their delivery riders/drivers.

To prevent pranks and facilitate collection against canceling customers, the bill also requires the implementation of Know-Your-Customer (KYC) rules which will entail the submission and verification of proof of identity and residential address, subject to compliance with the Data Privacy Act of 2012.

“Sa hirap ng buhay ngayon lalo’t nasa gitna tayo ng pandemya, lahat naman tayo ay gustong kumita. Kaya humahanga tayo sa mga gaya ng service riders na gumagawa ng paraan para kumita sa legal na paraan at malaki pa ang naitutulong nila para hindi na lumabas ng bahay ang ating mga kababayan. Kaya para masiguro na hindi na sila maloloko pa ng mga biglaang pagkansela ng order, dapat masiguro na ang mga umoorder ay magbibigay ng totoong pangalan at address,” Lapid said in a statement.

Lapid files bill seeking broadband connection in all PH areas

Robie de Guzman   •   June 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Lito Lapid on Friday said he has filed a bill aiming to establish broadband internet connection in all areas, especially in “underserved and unserved” cities, municipalities and barangays, in the country.

In a statement, Lapid said his Senate Bill 1598 also known as “Last Mile Broadband Internet Connection Act,” would mandate telecommunication companies to set up a facility for broadband internet connection in far-flung or isolated areas for every mobile phone number subscription.

The senator said he filed the measure after recognizing the vital role that the internet is playing, especially in terms of information and communication, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Lapid believes that all aspects of the people’s social and economic life are now being continually and consistently being shaped by the internet and its associated technologies, including telehealth, online education, digital commerce and trading, and financial technology.

“Sa kasamaang palad, marami sa ating mga kababayan ang hindi makasabay sa pagtungo natin sa digital age,” he said.

“Problema pa rin ng marami sa atin ang mabilis na internet connection at para sa mga mahihirap nating kapatid, ang pagkakaroon ng internet ay isang bagay na hindi kasama sa kanilang prayoridad lalo sa maliit nilang kinikita. Problema din ang kuneksyon sa internet sa malalayong lugar o isolated areas,” he added.

The measure seeks to task the National Telecommunications Commission to conduct a study to determine areas in the country that are in great need of internet connection and monitor the compliance of Telcos to this program.

“Oras na maisabatas ang panukalang ito, inaasahan natin na walang komunidad ang maiiwan pagdating sa internet connectivity. Lalo sa panahon ngayon na hindi na lamang luho ang internet kung isang mahalagang pangangailangan para sa trabaho at edukasyon,” Lapid said.

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