PWD cards for sale? Solon eyes probe into alleged collusion in LGU offices
MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker is seeking a probe on reports that cards intended for persons with disability (PWD) had been issued to individuals who were not entitled to it, aside from the alleged proliferation of fake PWD cards.
In particular, ACT-CIS Partylist Rep. Eric Yap is eyeing the case of members of a family in Quezon City who were each able to obtain PWD identification cards even though they were reportedly not qualified under Republic Act No. 10754 or the or An Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability, in exchange for P2,000 per card.
A screenshot of one of the subject PWD cards has been making its rounds in social media.
“I will file another resolution calling for an inquiry on these malpractices. May naniniwala pa ba na walang kinalaman ang mga tanggapan sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na nag-iissue ng PWD IDs? I will be more specific in this resolution and direct the Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability to investigate erring LGUs (local government units),” Yap said in a statement.
(Is there still anyone who believes that our local governments issuing PWD IDs do not have any involvement in these? I will be more specific in this resolution and direct the Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability to investigate erring LGUs.)
“Hindi dapat na pag may nag-viral lang tayo mabilis, dapat noong nalaman nyo na sinasamantala na, tinanong nyo agad yung sarili nyo kung anong magagawa ninyo para matigil ito,” the lawmaker added.
(We should not be quick with our response only when an issue becomes viral. It should be that once we knew that something is being taken advantage of, we should ask ourselves what we can do to stop this.)
Under the R.A. 10754, PWDs are entitle to several benefits such as discounts and exemption from the value-added tax (VAT) in various goods and services such as the purchase of medicines in all drugstores, fare for domestic air and sea travel, and admission fees charged by theaters, cinema houses, concert halls, among others.
With this, Yap said the fake IDs could be detrimental to businesses, and more importantly, PWDs themselves.
“Ang laking pera ng nawawala sa mga negosyo dahil dito sa pang-aabuso sa benefit na ito. Pero mas malaki ang epekto nito sa mga tunay na PWDs,” Yap said.
(Businesses lose a lot of money because of the abuse of this benefit. This has an even bigger effect to real PWDs.)
“Sa tuwing gagamit sila nito at hindi physically apparent yung condition nila, anong mararamdaman nila kung pagdududahan sila ng mga establishments na baka peke ang hawak nilang ID? All of a sudden, nasa kanila ang burden para patunayan na lehitimo sila? Mali naman yon,” he added.
(Everytime they will use this and their condition is not physically apparent, what would they feel if establishments doubt them that their IDs could possibly be fake? All of a sudden, the burden to prove that their condition is real is on them? That is wrong.)
Yap earlier filed HR 454 to conduct an inquiry on the implementation of RA 10754 and the process of issuance of PWD IDs.
This, however, has yet to be acted upon.
“Nananawagan po tayo sa mga kasamahan natin sa Kongreso, napakaganda ng layunin ng batas na ito pero sinasamantala at ginagatasan na ng mga indibidwal na gustong kumita ng pera,” Yap said.
(We appeal to our colleagues in Congress, this law’s intention is good but this is being taken advantage of by individuals who want to earn money.)
“Lagyan natin ito ng sapat na safeguards and sabay sabay tayong maglatag ng solusyon. We can only do so much creating awareness of this abuse, let’s deal with this issue now,” the lawmaker added.
(Let us put enough safeguards and let us all provide a solution. We can only do so much creating awareness of this abuse, let’s deal with this issue now.)
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has ordered an investigation into the said incident which reportedly happened during the term of her predecessor.
The city government said the family allegedly paid P2,000 each for their PWD ID. There are, however, no records justifying the issuance of the PWD IDs to the family