IRR for PWD VAT exemption out on Thursday
Good news for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and their families as they can now enjoy value added tax (VAT) exemptions and additional tax deductions.
This as Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara disclosed that the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 10754 granting PWDs VAT exemptions would be out on Thursday.
“Layunin ng batas na ito na mapagaan ang pasanin ng ating mga kababayang may kapansanan. Magandang pamasko ito para sa kanila at sa kanilang pamilya (This law aims to lessen the burden of persons with disabilities. This a good Christmas gift to them and to their families),” Angara, chair of the Senate committee on ways and means, said in a statement.
The senator pointed out that under RA 10754, PWDs are exempted from the 12-percent VAT on land transportation, domestic air and sea travels; on fees and charges for medical and dental services including diagnostic and laboratory fees, and professional fees of attending doctors in all government facilities as well as in all private hospitals and medical facilities; on cost of medicines; on funeral and burial services; on fees and charges in hotels, restaurants and recreation centers; and, on admission fees in theatres, cinema houses, concert halls, and other similar places of culture, leisure and amusement.
The VAT exemption, Angara said, was on top of the 20-percent discount on certain goods and services that PWDs are already entitled to under the current Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.
The new law further grants a P25,000 annual income tax deduction to relatives, within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, who are caring for and living with a PWD, said the senator.
With the release of IRR, Angara had high hopes that the Department of Finance (DOF) would heed his call to forego with its plan to lift the VAT exemption for senior citizens and PWDs.
“Sabi ko nga, hindi pa napapakinabangan ng ating mga PWD ang batas, gusto na agad bawiin yung benepisyo (As I said, the PWDs have yet to benefit from the law, yet they want to revoke the benefits),” he said.
But based on their last dialogue, the senator said, finance authorities seemed to be open “to drop the seniors and PWDs on their proposed list of exemptions that will be removed.”
Besides, Angara noted the very low participation in the grant of benefits and privileges mandated by the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons mainly because some facilities and establishments, and even the PWDs themselves, were not aware of the policies that support them.
Citing the 2014 data from the Philippine Registry for Persons with Disability of the Department of Health, he said only approximately 30,000 of the 1.4 million PWDs were registered with PWD IDs and eligible to receive the benefits and privileges under the magna carta.
The senator then urged the government to intensify its information dissemination campaign and to streamline the process for the application of the PWD ID.
“We must ensure that all disabled Filipinos are provided with the necessary assistance and opportunities that will help them develop their potential and become fully participative members of society,” Angara said. RAM/rga
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