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Know Your Rights: A List of PWD Benefits in the PhilippinesDid you know your child's PWD ID means he's entitled to medical discounts and VAT exemption, among others?
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We're onboard with anything that puts the Philippines on the map as a more inclusive nation. So we cheer for any law or program that benefits Filipinos who are persons with disabilities (PWDs). We also need to spread the word on the benefits that PWDs may not have taken advantage of yet.
Last December 2016, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) issue implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 10754 (a law in effect since March 2016) that grants PWDs exemption from value-added tax (VAT) for certain goods and services, including restaurants, theaters and cinema houses, and medicine. This is on top of the 20 percent discount that PWD ID holders already enjoy. Forgot to buy something? Subsequent purchases, including those made on the same day, are still subject to VAT-exemption and 20 percent discount.
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The law also requires all establishments to display signages informing PWDs of the privileges and benefits entitled to them. This is important. There are an estimated 1.2 million PWDs in the Philippines. But, only 50,0000 PWD cardholders are taking advantage of the benefits, says Senator Sonny Angara.
Here is a list of benefits and privileges entitled to all PWD cardholders. Share these with a family who has a PWD member.
Note: Aside from your child’s PWD ID, remember to always have the accompanying Persons with Disability Purchase Booklet with you at all times. Both are needed to avail of the benefits. (No PWD ID? Here's how to apply for one.)
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- hotels and similar lodging establishments
- recreation centers
- theaters, cinema houses, concert hall, circuses carnivals, and other similar places of culture, leisure and amusement
- medical and dental services, including diagnostic and laboratory fees and professional fees of attending doctors in all private hospitals and medical facilities (subject to guidelines to be issued by the Department of Health in coordination with Philippine Health Insurance Corporation)
- domestic air and sea travel
- public railways, skyways, and other public utility vehicles (including buses, jeeps, taxis and shuttle services)
- funeral and burial services for the death of the PWD
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- basic necessities such as:
rice, corn, bread, fresh or dried and canned fish and other marine products, fresh pork, beef and poultry meat, fresh eggs, fresh and processed milk, infant formula, fresh vegetables, root crops, coffee, sugar, cooking oil, salt, laundry soap, detergents, firewood, charcoal, candles and other commodities as may be classified by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA)
- prime commodities such as:
fresh fruits, dried or processed or canned pork, beef and poultry, meat, dairy products not falling under basic necessities, noodles, onions, garlic, diapers, herbicides, poultry, swine and cattle feeds, veterinary products for poultry, swine and cattle feeds, veterinary products for poultry, swine and cattle, paper, school supplies, nipa shingle, plyboard, construction nails, batteries, electrical supplies, light bulbs, steel wire and other commodities that may be classified by the DTI and DA
Note: Purchases should not exceed P1,300 a week to avail of the 5% discount. For more info and details on basic necessities and prime commodities, click here.
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- educational assistance to pursue primary (nursery and kindergarten), secondary, tertiary, post-tertiary, as well as vocational or technical education, in both public and private schools, provided the PWD meets admission requirements
- continuance of the same benefits and privileges given by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), and Pag-IBIG
- express lanes for PWD in all commercial and government establishments (if none, priority shall be given)
- protection against verbal and non-verbal ridicule and vilification (see details about it here)
- P25,000-annual income tax deduction to relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, who are caring for and living with a PWD (unfortunately, a bill is underway to repeal this benefit. Read about it here.)
Cities and provinces also have ordinances in place that grant their PWDs residences extra benefits. Cebu City, for example, grants PWDs an annual financial assistance of P5,000 and are working on increasing it to P12,000. They also offer free parking in commercial establishments for the first three hours.
PWDs residing in Quezon City can avail of free movie admission on Mondays and Tuesdays until 5 p.m. at Quezon City malls. This does not cover Imax theaters and 3D screenings and is not valid on nonworking public holidays. And, blockbuster movies may be availed a week after initial release.
Zamboanga City has a Community Action and Resources for Accessible, Better and Leverage Environment (CARe-ABLE) for Persons with Disability, which provides enhanced social protection projects and activities for PWDs. Visit your local barangay hall for information on your city’s PWD benefits and privileges.
Be aware of the details regarding the benefits and privileges your child with special needs is entitled to by law by reading the full Magna Carta for Disabled Persons or Republic Act 7277 here, the 2007 amendment here and the 2016 amendment here.
We’re a community! Share info on PWD benefits and privileges that you know of to other parents of kids with special needs via the comments section below.
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