Here’s how and why you should claim your PWD card
Know the documents to submit and what benefits you're entitled to
Apr 7, 2019
A few years ago, I dislocated my knee which, up to this day, the cause for it remains unknown. It’s scary when you think of it, as it happened even when no warning signs were felt. And whether the symptoms are clear or not, the reality is that these illnesses and disabilities hit us when we least expect it, and it’s happening to a lot of Filipinos everyday.
Quality health care doesn’t come cheap, too, especially when you need to avail medicine and medical services on a regular basis. In that case, get a persons with disabilities (PWD) ID. It’s a powerful little card that entitles the holder to many benefits, from discounts on medical and dental services to public transportation. Personally, it’s greatly helped me cut down on my daily expenses.
According to the 2010 Census of Population and Housing, there are at least 1.4 million PWDs in the country, but Senator Sonny Angara noted that only 50,000 PWDs claimed their cards. The national government has allocated at least one percent of your local government’s internal revenues just for PWD benefits.
Getting one is free and you only need to submit a few documents to your city hall. In my case, I got my card in Iloilo City, and the process was quicker than what I originally expected it to be. It might be different in your case but the process is the same for all municipalities. Here’s a step-by-step process on how to avail one:
Step 1: Know the definition of a PWD
First thing’s first, you have to consider what the legal definition of PWD is and what it entails. The Magna Carta of Disabled Persons defines it 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.”
Not all disabilities are apparent. The National Council on Disability Affairs lists down accepted disabilities:
- Physical/orthopedic disability
- Visual impairment
- Hearing impairment
- Speech impairment
- Intellectual disability
- Psychosocial disability (includes people with ADHD, bipolar disorder, long term recurring depression, nervous breakdown, epilepsy, schizophrenia, and other long term recurring mental or behavioral problems)
You can refer to Section 4 of the Magna Carta of Disabled Persons for the full definition or you can ask your doctor.
Step 2: Collect and submit all necessary documents
Once you’ve successfully determined if you belong under the category, you can already gather all pertinent documents to be submitted to your municipality. Here’s what you should collect:
- Two 1×1 recent ID pictures with the names, and signatures or thumb marks at the back of the picture. Be sure to have one spare 1×1 ID picture in case they need it for the booklet.
- One valid ID
- Document to confirm the medical or disability condition (See Section IV, D for acceptable documents); you can get this certificate from your physician.
- Duly accomplished application form; forms are available in your city hall and other government offices such as the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), DOH, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development. It’s also available for download from the Department of Health’s website.
If you’re unable to submit the requirements in person, you can always ask a family member to do it for you. All you need is to submit a signed authorization letter. According to the NCDA, you can submit these documents to authorized offices: Office of the Mayor or City Hall or the Office of the Barangay Captain. My application took less than a week to be processed, but it generally varies from one municipality to another.
Step 3: Know your benefits
Once you’ve received your card, it’s important to be acquainted with the benefits that come with it. Generally, PWD ID holders are entitled to a 20 percent discount and value-added tax (VAT) exemption when purchasing goods. Here’s a breakdown of your PWD ID privileges:
20 percent discount on:
- Hotels and similar lodging establishments, restaurants, and recreation centers
- Theaters, cinema houses, concert halls, circuses, carnivals and other similar places of culture, leisure and amusement
- Medicines in all drugstores
- Medical and dental services, including diagnostic and laboratory fees, in all government facilities (subject to guidelines to be issued by DOH in coordination with PhilHealth)
- Medical and dental services, including diagnostic and laboratory fees, and professional fees of attending doctors in all private hospitals and medical facilities (in accordance with the rules and regulations to be issued by DOH in coordination with PhilHealth)
- Domestic air and sea travel
- Public railways and bus fare
- Skyways and expressways toll fees (for PWD owning a vehicle)
5 percent discount on:
- Basic necessities (rice, corn, bread, fresh, dried and canned fish, other marine products, fresh pork, beef and poultry meat, fresh eggs, fresh and processed milk, infant formulas, fresh vegetables, root crops, coffee, sugar, cooking oil, salt, laundry soap, detergents, firewood, charcoal, candles and other commodities as classified by the DTI and the DA)
- Prime commodities (fresh fruits, dried, processed and 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 DTI and DA)
Note that purchases for basic necessities and prime commodities should not exceed P1,300 a week to avail of the 5 percent discount.
Other benefits include:
- Express lanes in all commercial and government establishments
- Accessible biometrics registration and voting precincts
- Designated PWD-friendly public attorneys
- Educational assistance to pursue primary, secondary, tertiary, post tertiary, as well as vocational or technical education in both public and private schools
- Protection against verbal and non-verbal ridicule and vilification
- P15,000 worth of benefits to qualified PhilHealth members or dependents in need of lower limb prosthesis
- Establishment of a Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) in every province, city and municipality
- Accessible website of all government agencies
For more information, visit the NCDA’s website.
Header image courtesy of Inquirer.net
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