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Mga garapal! ACT-CIS party-list seeks inquiry on unqualified PWD cardholders

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Party-list Cong. Eric Go Yap (ACT-CIST) on Tuesday voiced out his concern after receiving reports against unqualified holders of persons with disabilities (PWDs) card in various parts of the country.

During Tuesday’s news forum of the House Majority, Yap said he is eyeing a congressional inquiry after receiving complaints that there are many unqualified PWD cardholders.

“Due to the decentralized issuance of the PWD IDs, there is possibility of abuse by some unethical and imprudent individuals like those who have listed illegitimate beneficiaries,” said Yap.

According to Yap, those bogus PWD cardholders obviously are only after the perks—not only discounts in various establishments but as well as other special benefits and privileges being accorded under existing laws.

Yap said that he recently encountered an incident in Binondo, Manila wherein, a family of six were eating inside a Chinese restaurant and when they finally decided to settle their bill, four of them showed their respective PWD cards even though there’s nothing wrong with them physically.

“Noong nagbabayad na, bumunot lahat ng PWD. Ako naman (noong) una naawa ako, sabi ko kawawang pamilya naman ‘to, tinamaan ng malas… (pero) siyempre naman ako nag-isip na ako. Wala naman akong nakita disability,” said Yap.

Yap noted he is aware that not all disabilities can be seen physically but the incident inside the Binondo restaurant has caused him second thoughts on whether or not all those with PWD cards are qualified holders.

The party-list solon stressed he personally investigated the said modus, wherein he ordered someone to apply for a PWD card in Quezon City even though that person is unqualified.

Yap said he was shocked upon learning that the same person he ordered was able to secure a PWD card from Quezon City Hall after paying only P1,000.

Yap said he got irked upon learning that another 15 persons were also able to secure PWD cards after paying the same amount.

“Nagpa-try ako ng 15 na tao. Iba-iba pong antas ng buhay. May mayaman, may empleyado. Iba-iba. May QC, may Manila, pero hindi kasabwat ang Mayor dito,” said Yap.

Under existing laws, PWD cards holders can avail 20 percent discount not only basic and prime commodities but also in several commercial establishments. PWD card holders also enjoy a five percent value-added tax (VAT) exemption.

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