EVERYBODY agrees that the government, through concerned offices and agencies, should employ all means to help the unfortunate members of society, including the handicapped.
And the government and the private sector ought to work in unison to advance the interests of the country’s handicapped, otherwise known as “persons with disability (PWDs).
A few years ago, Congress passed a landmark measure exempting PWDs, including the blind, from the payment of 12% value-added tax (VAT) on certain goods and services.
However, it is lamentable that unscrupulous Filipinos have been abusing Republic Act (RA) No. 10754 or an “An Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability.”
At the recent “Ugnayan sa Batasan News Forum,” ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Go Yap reported the “rampant” selling of counterfeit PWD cards in the Metropolitan Manila (MM) area.
Reports said that fake PWD identification card are being sold by “fixers” for P1,000 to P3,000 each.
Thus, Yap now wants to amend RA No. 10754, principally authored by House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, by putting penal clause for faking PWD cards.
“Maganda po ang batas ni Majority Leader Romualdez. May mga nang-aabuso lamang, mayroong (mga) fake PWD ID (cards) for sale,” Congressman Yap lamented.
Yap, chairman of the committee on games and amusement, filed House Resolution No. 454 urging his colleagues to look deeper into the rampant selling of fake PWD cards.
PWD identification card holders are entitled to 20 percent discount and 12 percent value-added tax discounts on groceries and medicines and at restaurants and fast food chains.
Supporting the proposed probe is Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor, who also got reports that fake PWD cards are being sold in the cities of Manila, Quezon and Pasay.
We cannot overemphasize the importance of identifying, arresting and prosecuting all those involved in the scam.