Implementing rules of PWD law signed
Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo on Thursday signed the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 10754 or An Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability (PWDs).
In her speech during the ceremonial signing of the IRR at the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) headquarters, Taguiwalo also urged Congress to allocate a bigger budget for the department’s advocacy for PWDs.
“This is an early Christmas gift we can give to our persons with disability,” Taguiwalo said.
Taguiwalo said the law is “reflective of the rights of PWDs to be recognized and upheld as a means to promote equality.”
“It is not a question of charity,” Taguiwalo said.
Former Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, who lost his senatorial bid in the May elections, graced the event as the primary author of the law.
“The fight has just begun. Our task now is to ensure and guarantee that all beneficiaries will fully enjoy the assistance that the law has been offering,” Romualdez said.
The Philippine Statistics Authority has estimated the PWD population in the country at 1.5 million.
Romualdez’s bill that became a law amended Republic Act No. 7277, or the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability, thus exempting PWDs from the value added tax (VAT).
“From the bottom of my heart, I thank Secretary Taguiwalo, other government officials and stakeholders for finishing the IRR of this very important law. This is a compassionate measure aimed at helping the plight of the PWD sector,” Romualdez said.
Under the law, 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 is 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 also grants a P25,000 annual income tax deduction to relatives, within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, who are taking care of PWDs.
Republic Act No. 10754 was signed into law on March 24 this year by then President Aquino.
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