Press Release
July 27, 2018


Senator Sonny Angara has called for a more supportive and inclusive society for persons with disabilities (PWDs) by treating them with respect, dignity and compassion.

"It is time that we finally remove the stigma, prejudice and discrimination towards people with disabilities. Instead, we should treat them with the same love, concern and compassion that we want to be treated with. One concrete way of showing respect to PWDs is by obeying the various laws that aim to empower them," said Angara.

Last week, the country celebrated the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week, which aims to raise awareness on the problems on disability, and encourage citizens to take active responsibility in addressing these issues.

The senator lamented that the country's PWD laws are still "works in progress" and much needs to be done starting with increasing public awareness on the Magna Carta of Disabled Persons.

Under Republic Act 9442 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, PWDs are entitled to 20% discount for the purchase of medicines in all drugstores, medical and dental services including diagnostic and laboratory fees, and professional fees of attending doctors.

It also grants 20% discount from establishments like hotels and restaurants, admission fees on theaters and movie houses, and on transportation fare for domestic land, air and sea travel.

This law was authored by the late Senate President Ed Angara, who is also responsible for the senior citizens discount.

Such discount was expanded by the younger Angara by sponsoring RA 10754 in 2016 which granted 12% value-added tax exemption to PWDs.

To avail of these benefits and privileges, one must apply for a PWD ID at the city or municipal social welfare office.

However, a Philippine Institute for Development Studies 2010 survey showed that only about three in 10 PWDs in the rural areas are aware of the Magna Carta. Because of low awareness, PWDs also have very low participation in discount privileges mainly because they do not have the PWD ID and because they are not able to go out.

"These laws were passed to give full support to the improvement of the total well-being of PWDs and their integration into the mainstream society. Dapat ay gawing mas madali ang proseso sa pagkuha ng ID upang mas marami sa ating mga kababayang may kapansanan ang makinabang sa mga benepisyong ito," the senator said.

The Magna Carta also provides protection for PWDs against ridicule and vilification. It likewise prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in employment, housing, education and access to public services.

Moreover, RA 10524 which mandates all government agencies and offices to reserve at least one percent of all positions for PWDs.

The Accessibility Law under Batas Pambansa 344, on the other hand, requires certain buildings, institutions and establishments and public utilities to install facilities and other devices that would enhance the mobility of PWDs.

"These laws must be strictly implemented in order to ensure that PWDs have the same opportunity to access and benefit certain services in a similar way as others. We should treat PWDs in a way that respects their dignity and independence," Angara said.

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