The government has designed programmes and systems that provide help to all kinds of people in society. Through its designated agencies, people from all walks of life are given benefits that they can use in their current situation and circumstances.
When we talk about all sectors of society, it’s important that we also take note of those living with disabilities or the persons with disabilities (PWDs) sector, because despite their limitations, they also have a big contribution in our society. For this reason, the government acknowledges their importance by offering special benefits that will help them adapt and become integrated in society.
Philippines Guide to Applying for a PWD (Persons with Disabilities) ID Card
Did you know that as of 2010, there are 1,443,000 PWDs, comprising 1.57% of the total population in the Philippines?
Despite only comprising less than 5% of the entire population, this number can’t be overlooked, and the government knows that there the number of people living with disabilities is expected to increase, considering factors such as health and lifestyle practices today.
In line with this, the government has a set of laws that addresses the needs of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the country. These privileges can be availed by presenting a special PWD identification card.
The PWD ID card is a government-issued ID card for persons with disabilities (PWDs), and serves as a proof for availing of the benefits and privileges for PWDs.
According to the Republic Act 10754, PWDs “are those with long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.” The following criteria determine eligibility for a PWD ID:
- Physical incapacity (e.g. amputation, spinal injury, post-polio)
- Visual, speech, and hearing impairment (e.g. blindness, mute, deaf)
- Intellectual, psychosocial, and psychiatric disability (e.g. schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder)
- Learning disability
For a person to be considered a PWD, they must manifest indications of a disability acknowledged by a medical professional through a clinical abstract or medical certificate.
Here are the documents required to obtain a PWD ID:
- A duly filled-out Philippine Registry Form for Persons with Disability (PWD -RF) available in local government offices, National Council on Disability Affairs, Department of Health, and Department of Social Welfare and Development.
- Barangay Clearance
- Two 1×1 ID pictures with name and signature/thumb mark at the back for the application form, and the medicine booklet
- Medical certificate or clinical abstract from a physician
1. Gather the requirements for the PWD ID mentioned above and submit the form in person at any PWD registration centres.
Note: if the PWD is unable to appear in person for the application, a family member may take over on behalf of the applicant. The representative must present an authorization letter signed by the PWD applicant.
2. Upon receiving your documents, the officer at the PWD registration centre will forward the documents to the health centre near your municipality for verification. The appointed officer will fill out a certification form and will input the submitted data to the Philippine Registry for PWD.
3. The PWD or their representative must submit the certificate of disability and approved application form to the nearest office of Social Welfare, NCDA, or DSWD for the actual issuance of ID. This typically takes only a few minutes to be issued.
PWD ID Benefits
- 20% discount and VAT exemption on the following:
- lodging establishments,
- prescribed medicines from hospitals and pharmacies,
- professional services on both private and public hospitals,
- public and private transportation by land, air and sea, and
- Recreation centres
- 5% discount on basic commodities such as rice, bread, meat, fruits, vegetables, fresh and processed milk, sugar, and coffee, among others.
- Educational Assistance: PWDs who wish to pursue primary, secondary, tertiary, and post-tertiary can avail of the educational assistance in both public and private schools.
- Government Benefits: continuation of GSIS, SSS and PAG-IBIG (if previously employed)
- Other Benefits: Priority parking on establishments and express lanes on queues, protection against verbal and non-verbal abuse
With these benefits, PWDs are not allowed to avail double discounts. For instance, a person with disability can either avail of an establishment’s promo or the 20% discount, whichever is higher.
Note: If the PWD is also a senior citizen and possesses both ID cards, he/she can only use either his/her senior citizen ID or PWD ID to avail the 20% discount.
Of note, caregivers of PWDs are also eligible to tax incentives in compliance with the National Internal Revenue Code’s provision.
ALSO READ: How to Claim SSS Disability Pension
If you know anyone, perhaps a family member or friend who may be in need of this benefit as a PWD, then feel free to share this post with them.
For more information on PWD laws, rights, and benefits, you may check out the National Council on Disability Affairs website.