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DSWD warns public on fake PWD cards

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) asked the public on Monday, June 29 to report the individuals who are illegally using and abusing persons with disability (PWD) identification cards (IDs).

The DSWD made the appeal after photos of PWD cards issued to six members of a rich family were circulated widely on social media.

“The Department encourages the public to report incidents involving the illegal use of PWD ID to the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), an attached agency of DSWD, through council@ncda.gov.ph or report to the PDAO or to any law enforcement agency,” it said in a statement.

It even warned against the use of fake PWD discount cards, reminding the public “that falsification of public documents and the use of falsified documents are criminal offenses and are punishable under the Revised Penal Code.”

Citing Administrative Order No. 001, Series of 2008, issued by the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), the DSWD said those who are entitled to receive PWD IDs are 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 include persons suffering from disabling diseases resulting from their limitations to perform day-to-day activities as normally as possible, it added.

“The issuance of the PWD ID will only be through the Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO), located in every city or municipality around the country,” the DSWD said.

It vowed to coordinate with concerned agencies including the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and NCDA, to keep an eye on the supposed proliferation of bogus PWD cards.

In a radio interview last June 21, Ang Probinsyano partylist Rep. Ronnie Ong called on the Department of Health (DoH) to come up with a clean list of legitimate PWD card holders, saying that law expanding benefits and privileges of PWDs is being “bastardized” by moneyed PWD impersonators.

He insisted the need for Congress to look into the implementation of Republic Act 10754, maintaining that it has caused huge financial losses to many business establishments and the government as well.

He said the government should take action against these fake PWDs and to make sure the struggling businesses are protected from such kind of consumer abuse.

Ong, along with ACT-CIS partylist Rep. Eric Yap had called on the DOH, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the NCDA to review the implementation of Republic Act 10754 and launch crackdown against PWD impersonators.

The law grants automatic 20 percent direct discount to PWDs. Under the law, PWDs also receive VAT exempt on purchases of certain goods and services from all establishments for their exclusive use, among many other privileges.

RA10754 states that the Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) or the City / Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (C/MSWDO) can issue the PWD IDs.

Covered by the law are those persons with the following types of disabilities:

  • Psychosocial disability – Includes bipolar disorder, depression, ADHD, schizophrenia, epilepsy, and other long-term and recurring mental or behavioral issues;
  • Disability resulting from a chronic illness – Includes orthopedic disability due to cancer, blindness due to diabetes, and other disabilities due to a chronic disease;
  • Learning disability – Includes processing problems that hinder learning math, reading, writing, and other basic skills;
  • Visual disability – Simple poor eyesight doesn’t automatically qualify a person for a PWD ID unless the visual impairment can’t be corrected.
  • Orthopedic (Musculoskeletal) disability – Includes people with dwarfism and amputated hands or feet. Individuals with scoliosis may also apply for an ID.
  • Mental/Intellectual disability
  • Hearing disability
  • Speech impairment
  • Multiple disabilities.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/06/29/dswd-warns-public-on-fake-pwd-cards/)

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