THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 6 cautioned local government units against wanton issuance of identification cards to Persons with Disability (PWDs) and Senior Citizens.
Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre, DSWD-6 regional director, said LGUs should ensure that only eligible PWDs and senior citizens are given the ID cards.
Macapobre issued the warning in the heels of reports of abuses in the issuance of the IDs to unqualified persons.
No LGU was singled out in the report.
“We would like to remind the LGUs that only eligible PWDs and elderly must be provided with IDs. We need to guard these sectors to ensure that only those who are qualified get to avail of their privileges and benefits so as not to defeat the very purpose of the laws enacted to protect them,” Macapobre said.
Republic Act 7277 defines disabled persons as those suffering from restriction of different abilities, as a result of a mental, physical or sensory impairment, to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.
The law also provides for penalties for any person who abuses the privileges granted by RA 7277 of imprisonment of not less than six months or a fine of not less than P5,000.
On the other hand, Republic Act 9994 defines a senior citizen or elderly as “any resident citizen of the Philippines at least 60 years old.”
The law also provides that any person who abuses the privileges granted to senior citizens shall be punished with a fine of not less than P5,000 but not more than 50,000 and imprisonment of not less than six months.
Recently enacted laws provide for additional benefits and privileges to these sectors.
RA 9442 provides that PWDs shall be entitled to 20 percent discount from all establishments relative to utilization of all services in hotels and similar lodging establishments, restaurants and recreation centers.
Also, a 20 percent discount on theaters, medicines, laboratory fees and medical and dental services is extended to PWDs.
In the same manner, RA 9994 granted 20 percent discount and exemption from Value-Added Tax on purchase of medicines, professional fees of attending physicians and health and home care services, medical and dental services, fare for land transportation travel, domestic air transport and sea shipping vessels, hotel and lodging, admission fees in theaters and on funeral and burial services.
In the past, several persons were busted for faking disabilities just to secure a PWD card.