Persons With Disabilities
I remember this perfectly…. I was with these 2 guys buying stuff for my sister’s wake in WalterMart Makati. And when I was about to pay at the cashier, I noticed that the line was full (about 20 people ahead of me). So I said to myself “Tough Luck Francis, just go with it!”
Then I saw one of my companion named Paul who is also about to pay for the merchandise that he picked in the mall. Just when I thought that he will line-up after me, he went to a different lane that I didn’t know it exist….. The Express Lane.
So after wasting 1 hour in the line and finally reaching the cashier. I went to Paul after and asked him… “How did you do that?” And this is what he said to me… “PWD ako Kuya!”
PWD is an abbreviation and short term for Persons With Disabilities. Here in the Philippines, as of January 2017, there are an estimated 1.2 million PWDs in the country. But, only 50,000 PWD cardholders are taking advantage of the benefits, says Senator Sonny Angara.
I was intrigued by it, Google it, and was blown away with its benefits and privileges. Here’s what PWDs are entitled to…
20% discount and VAT exemption:
=> Hotels, Restaurants and Recreation centers
=> Theaters & Cinema, Concerts, Carnivals, and other similar places of culture, leisure & amusement
=> Medicine, Medical & Dental services (this includes laboratory, diagnostic, professional fees in all private hospitals and medical facilities)
=> Domestic air & Sea travel
=> Public railways (MRT, LRT 1 & 2), skyway, and all public utility vehicles.
=> Basic Necessities such as: Rice, Bread, Fish, Fresh pork, beef and poultry, as well as Veggies
=> Prime Commodities such as: Fresh fruits, dried or processed or canned pork, and Dairy products
=> Educational assistance to pursue primary (nursery and kindergarten), secondary, tertiary, post-tertiary, as well as vocational or technical education, in both public and private schools, provided the PWD meets admission requirements
=> Continuance of the same benefits and privileges given by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), and Pag-IBIG
=> Express lanes for PWD in all commercial and government establishments (if none, priority shall be given)
In some cities, they offer…
=> 3 hours Free Parking for PWDs in Cebu City
=> Free Movie admission in Quezon City
So what’s the big fuss about it???
Well, my youngest son Lorenzo was born with Autism and we were not aware that he can have this certain benefits and privileges…. and he is turning 13 next year.
I too was born with a certain condition and I’m also qualified to get a PWD card from the government… and I’m 40ish old.
If we knew this, we have received and used this privilege and benefits a long time ago. Awareness is the key. If Paul did not line up in that Express Lane, I wouldn’t have known.
That is the purpose of Friendillion, ladies and gents. The more people that you know, the more possibilities and awareness you will be receiving.
This applies to all types of people (not only the PWDs).
Know your rights and use it wisely. Use your SSS ID for your monthly retirement pension. Try to make the most out of your Pag-IBIG Fund (HDMF) even it is not related to housing acquisition.
Do you know that there is also a privilege for the Solo Parents according to R.A. 8972.
Did you know that we have a Free entrance at the National Museum of the Philippines (Me & my kids go there when we have time).
Have you heard that our village, barangay and local parish church offer Free livelihood seminars and Dental check-ups to our Yaya’s, Drivers and Housekeepers.
So get yourself out in the open. Get acquainted to more people. And never ever forget to use your rights, benefits and privileges…. whether you’re a PWD or not!