Benefits and Privileges provided to Persons with Disabilities
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Manila Times
Dear PAO, I was previously diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and I recently received my Person with Disability Identification Card (PWD ID). I went to our local drugstore to buy my usual medicine for my condition and I tried to present my PWD ID for a discount but they said that only senior citizens may avail of discounts. I would like to clarify if I am entitled to any discount under the law. Thank you. Cher Dear Cher, Please be informed of Section 32 of Republic Act (RA) 7277, as amended by RA 9442 and RA 10754, otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability, which states: “SEC. 32. Persons with disability shall be entitled to: “(a) At least twenty percent (20 percent) discount and exemption from the value-added tax (VAT), if applicable, on the following sale of goods and services for the exclusive use and enjoyment or availment of the PWD: “(1) On the fees and charges relative to the utilization of all services in hotels and similar lodging establishments; restaurants and recreation centers; “(2) On admission fees charged by theaters, cinema houses, concert halls, circuses, carnivals and other similar places of culture, leisure and amusement; “(3) On the purchase of medicines in all drugstores; “(4) On medical and dental services including diagnostic and laboratory fees such as, but not limited to, x-rays, computerized tomography scans and blood tests, and professional fees of attending doctors in all government facilities, subject to the guidelines to be issued by the Department of Health (DoH), in coordination with the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth); “(5) On medical and dental services including diagnostic and laboratory fees, and professional fees of attending doctors in all private hospitals and medical facilities, in accordance with the rules and regulations to be issued by the DOH, in coordination with the PhilHealth; “(6) On fare for domestic air and sea travel; “(7) On actual fare for land transportation travel such as, but not limited to, public utility buses or jeepneys (PUBs/PUJs), taxis, asian utility vehicles (AUVs), shuttle services and public railways, including light Rail Transit (LRT), Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Philippine National Railways (PNR); and “(8) On funeral and burial services for the death of the PWD: Provided, That the beneficiary or any person who shall shoulder the funeral and burial expenses of the deceased PWD shall claim the discount under this rule for the deceased PWD upon presentation of the death certificate. Such expenses shall cover the purchase of casket or urn, embalming, hospital morgue, transport of the body to intended burial site in the place of origin, but shall exclude obituary publication and the cost of the memorial lot. x x x “The privileges may not be claimed if the PWD claims a higher discount as may be granted by the commercial establishment and/or under other existing laws or in combination with other discount program/s.” Based on the above-stated law, every PWD shall have both a 20 percent discount and an exemption from the value-added tax, if applicable, on the sale of certain goods and services for the exclusive use and enjoyment or availment of the said PWD. This includes purchase of medicines to be used by the concerned PWD. Thus, you may demand to be given a discount on your purchase of medicine for your condition as this right is specifically granted by law. However, be mindful that there should also beno double discounts. In the purchase of goods and services which are on promotional discount, persons with disability can avail themselves of the establishment’s offered discount or the 20 percent discount provided herein, whichever is higher and more favorable. In cases where the PWD is also a senior citizen entitled to a 20 percent discount under his/her valid senior citizen ID, the person with disability shall elect to use either his benefits as PWD or as senior citizen to avail of the 20 percent discount but not both. The benefit is alternative, and not cumulative as to grant the PWD a combined discount. We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.