In the Philippines, a person with a disability (PWD) is someone who has long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairments which, in interaction with various barriers, may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. There are different types of disabilities, and each person’s experience is unique. According to the World Bank, there are an estimated 1 billion people living with some form of disability worldwide. This means that one in every seven people you meet has some form of disability.
The Philippine government has enacted laws and policies to protect the rights of PWDs and to ensure their full and equal participation in society. One such law is Republic Act No. 7277 or the “Magna Carta for Disabled Persons” which was signed into law on February 20, 1992. The Magna Carta for Disabled Persons recognizes the importance of the social participation of persons with disabilities and their right to full participation in all aspects of life. It provides guidelines for the development and management of programs for PWDs, including those who are mentally challenged.
What is a PWD Card and its Benefits?
People with disabilities (PWDs) are a marginalized group in society. They often experience discrimination and exclusion in many areas of their lives, including education, employment, health care, and social services. A PWD ID is an identification card that is issued to PWDs to help them access these services and facilities more easily. This card will also allow them to enjoy some benefits and privileges, such as discounts on transportation, entrance fees to places like zoos and museums, and priority seating on buses and trains. The card is issued by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and is recognized in all transactions, both private and government-related. The card has the holder’s name, photograph, and disability information. It also shows that the holder is a registered PWD with the government.
Who Can Apply for a PWD ID?
According to Republic Act 10754, PWDs are “individuals with long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairments that, in conjunction with other barriers, may impede their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis.” To qualify for a PWD ID, one must have the following disabilities:
- Physical handicap (e.g. amputation, spinal injury, post-polio)
- impaired vision, speech, and hearing (e.g. blindness, mute, deaf)
- Intellectual, psychological, and mental impairment (e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder)
- Learning disability
A person must exhibit signs of a disability as documented in a clinical abstract or medical certificate by a medical specialist.
PWD ID Requirements
In the Philippines, persons with disabilities (PWDs) are granted certain rights and privileges under the law. One of these is the right to identification cards that indicate their status as PWDs. To obtain a PWD ID, you will need to provide certain documents to the government agency responsible for issuing such cards. The specific documents required may vary depending on your location, but typically you will need to provide the following documents:
- A fully-accomplished application form. This form can be obtained through local government offices, the National Council on Disability Affairs, the Department of Health, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development. You may either register online or download the file from the Philippine Registry For Persons With Disability of the Department of Health.)
- Barangay Clearance
- Two 2×2 ID photos for the application, and one 1×1 ID photo for the medicine booklet.
- Medical certification or clinical abstract from a doctor
How to Apply for PWD Card
Submit the completed application form and any required documentation to your local city or municipal health center. The application process is straightforward and can be completed in less than an hour at your local DSWD office or Health Center.
Depending on the protocol followed by the Health Center in your area, you can anticipate an office verification or interview. An official from the Philippine Registry for Persons with Disabilities will complete the Certification Form, insert your Control Number, and enter your details. For those with disabilities who can’t come to the office due to their condition, registration center staff will conduct a home visit to verify their application and their handicap.
Finally, go to the city or municipal social welfare office or the National Council on Disability Affairs to pick up your Person With Disability (PWD) ID Card with the accepted application form and the Certificate of Disability. They will also give you A Person with Disabilities Purchase Slip Booklet, containing a list of discounts and VAT Exemptions. This card is free to obtain (unless you need another for renewal, loss, or damage) and is good for three years.
In conclusion, applying for a PWD ID in the Philippines is a relatively simple process. Just make sure to have all the required documents and information ready, and you should be able to complete the application in no time. Remember to keep your PWD ID card safe, as it will be your primary means of identification when accessing government services and programs reserved for persons with disabilities.