Solons ask for updated list of PWDs amid coronavirus pandemic
MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers on Tuesday asked government agencies to provide the latest and updated list of persons with disabilities to further track the number of PWDs in the country, considering there is an ongoing public health crisis.
The lawmakers made the appeal during a hearing of the House panel on PWDs after the Department of Social Welfare and Development used the 2010 census as a basis for their presentation.
Bohol 1st District Rep. Edgar Chatto said using an outdated list of PWDs is “very difficult” especially when planning for programs and allocating budgets for them.
“It is very hard to know and quite sad that our statistics and data on PWDs is still using the 2010 census,” he said.
“This is very difficult because when we continue doing our plans and programs and allocating budgets, both local and national, we should have a basis for all these programs in place,” Chatto added.
The outdated list of PWDs also spur acts of fraud, especially with the current issue of wrongly issued PWD identification cards.
“The reason why we have some concerns on over-issued IDs or IDs being issued to the wrong persons is also emanating from the fact that there is no clear list of who are accredited as PWDs and who are not,” the Bicol lawmaker further said.
Panel chair Ma. Lourdes Arroyo asked the DSWD along with the Department of Health to come up with a more updated list of PWDs.
For its part, Miramel Laxa of the DSWD said the agency is currently consolidating its data of PWDs and was just halted in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
It will also coordinate with local government units in gathering and verifying data.
Meanwhile, Dr. Napoleon Arevalo of the DOH said it can help with providing data on PWDs since the agency has a Philippine registry of PWDs.
“We can forward our documents to you so that you can use it in aid of legislation. We have updated the list of PWDs issued IDs by type of disability from 2010 to June 2020,” he said.
According to the 2010 census, over one million individuals in the country are PWDs. DSWD said Calabarzon has the highest number of PWDs with 193,000 individuals, followed by Metro Manila with 167,000 recorded PWDs.
The agency has served over 1,000 PWDs affected by the pandemic from January to May.