Press Release
June 28, 2006


Noting the increasing number of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the country, Senator Edgardo J. Angara today called for additional privileges and incentives for disabled persons similar to those of senior citizens, such as free medical and dental services, discounts in public transportation, as well as discounts in recreation and amusement activities.

As of the year 2000, Filipinos with disabilities numbered more than 900,000. It is the States responsibility to protect and improve their social and economic status, said Angara, who is also the father of the Senior Citizens Act.

Angara said the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons of 1992 was a landmark piece of legislation which provided for the rehabilitation, development and provision of opportunities towards self-reliance of PWDs. He noted, however, that the time now calls for the bills enhancement for it to be better able to address the growing number of persons with disabilities.

We must carry on the challenges still unmet by the 1992 Magna Carta. With the Philippine adoption of the Biwako Millenium Framework for Action Towards an Inclusive, Barrier-Free and Rights-Based Society for PWDs in Asia and the Pacific, as well as the declaration of the Philippine Decade of Persons with Disabilities, government must all the more continue responding to the needs of our disabled kababayans, Angara said.

The amendment seeks to grant additional privileges to PWDs, such as a 20% discount on domestic air and sea travel, public railways, and bus fare; exemption from payment of individual income tax for those whose incomes fall below poverty level; free medical, dental and laboratory services; and a 20% discount on admission charges for theaters, movie houses and the like.

This is not intended to create an attitude among us that regards PWDs as charity cases, but rather to help empower PWDs to meet their basic needs of health, income security, decent housing and other social and economic needs, Angara said.

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