Romualdez asks Aquino to enact PWD benefits law
CLARK FREEPORT—-Senatorial candidate and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez on Friday urged President Aquino to sign into law a bill exempting persons with disabilities (PWD) from paying the 12-percent value-added tax (VAT) on certain goods and services.
Romualdez made the pitch for the PWD bill, which he sponsored as House Bill No. 1039 more than two years ago and which is scheduled for transmission to the Office of the President.
It amends Republic Act. No. 7277 (the 1992 Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities) by granting the PWD a 20-percent discount on selected items and services. Senior citizens also enjoy the same privileges.
“I hope the President would sign it right away and that he won’t veto it like [the bill seeking an increase in the pension of Social Security System members],” Romualdez said in a forum here of the Capampangan in Media Inc.
Around three million PWD stand to benefit from the proposed law, half of whom are registered with the local government or Department of Health, he said.
“This bill accords respect and gives dignity to PWD. It is an expression of our government’s ‘malasakit’ (compassion) to this sector,” Romualdez said.
Should HB 1039 become law, it would encourage families and communities to stop hiding PWD and use the assistance, he said.
The VAT exemption for PWD will be applied on medical and dental services, purchase of medicines in all drugstores, fares when using public railways, skyways and buses, admission fees in places of culture, leisure and entertainment, and all services in hotels and similar lodging establishments, restaurants and recreation centers. Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon
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