The Philippines is making significant strides in promoting inclusivity and improving the lives of Persons with disabilities (PWDs) through various legal provisions.
The Philippine government enacted Republic Act No. 7277, commonly known as “The Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.” This legislation aims to promote the rehabilitation, self-development, and self-reliance of persons with disabilities (PWDs), as well as their integration into mainstream society.
Also Read: PWD List of Disabilities
Under Republic Act No. 7277 PWDs are entitled to a wide range of benefits and privileges. These privileges aim to address the unique challenges faced by PWDs and foster their active participation in society. In this article, we will explore the key benefits of PWD privileges in the Philippines.
PWD Privileges and Incentives
One of the significant benefits granted to PWDs is the right to a minimum of twenty percent (20%) discount from all establishments providing services such as hotels, restaurants, and recreation centers exclusively for PWDs. This discount ensures that PWDs can enjoy these facilities and services on an equal footing with others, promoting social integration and enhancing their quality of life.
Cultural and Leisure Access
PWDs have the right to a minimum of twenty percent (20%) discount on admission fees to theaters, cinema houses, concert halls, circuses, carnivals, and other places of culture, leisure, and amusement. This privilege allows PWDs to enjoy entertainment and cultural experiences while reducing financial barriers.
Accessible healthcare is crucial for PWDs, and the Magna Carta provides essential provisions to ensure their well-being. PWDs are entitled to a minimum of twenty percent (20%) discount on medical and dental services, including diagnostic and laboratory fees, both in government facilities and private hospitals and medical facilities. This provision helps alleviate the financial burden of medical expenses for PWDs and ensures their access to necessary healthcare services.
The Magna Carta grants PWDs a minimum of twenty percent (20%) discount on the purchase of medicines in all drugstores. This discount on prescription drugs and essential medications is of immense importance, as it promotes the continuous treatment and management of disabilities while lessening the financial strain on PWDs.
PWDs enjoy various travel benefits aimed at facilitating their mobility and enabling participation in domestic air and sea travel. These benefits include a minimum of a twenty percent (20%) discount on fares for domestic air and sea travel, as well as a twenty percent (20%) discount on public railways, skyways, and bus fares. These discounts promote independent travel and ensure that PWDs can explore and engage with different regions of the country.
The Magna Carta recognizes the importance of education in empowering PWDs and promoting their inclusion in society. PWDs are provided with educational assistance, including scholarships, grants, financial aids, subsidies, and other incentives to pursue primary, secondary, tertiary, post-tertiary, vocational, or technical education in both public and private schools.
This support extends to learning materials, books, and uniform allowances, allowing PWDs to access education on an equal basis with their peers.
Continuation of Benefits
To promote the welfare of PWDs who were previously part of the workforce, the Magna Carta ensures that the same benefits and privileges enjoyed by active members of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), and PAG-IBIG are extended to PWDs to the extent practicable and feasible. This provision recognizes the contributions of PWDs and ensures their continued well-being even after retirement.
Special Discounts on Basic Commodities
The government may grant special discounts on the purchase of basic commodities for PWDs, subject to guidelines issued by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA). These discounts aim to alleviate the financial burden on PWDs, ensuring their access to essential goods and services.
Express Lanes and Priority Access
In recognition of the unique needs and challenges faced by PWDs, commercial and government establishments are required to provide express lanes for PWDs. In cases where express lanes are not available, PWDs are given priority access to ensure their convenience and ease of transactions.
Incentives for Caregivers and Institutions
The Magna Carta also acknowledges the caregivers of PWDs and provides incentives to support their crucial role. Individual taxpayers caring for PWDs are granted privileges under the National Internal Revenue Code, treating PWDs as dependents.
Additionally, individuals or non-governmental institutions establishing homes, residential communities, or retirement villages for PWDs are granted realty tax holidays and priority in the building and maintenance of provincial or municipal roads leading to these establishments.
The benefits and privileges outlined in the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons demonstrate the Philippine government’s commitment to creating an inclusive and equitable society for PWDs.
By providing discounts on various services, ensuring access to healthcare, supporting education, and offering incentives for caregivers and institutions, the Philippines is empowering PWDs and promoting their active participation in all aspects of life.
It is crucial for society to continue fostering an environment that recognizes the rights and dignity of PWDs, promoting equal opportunities and breaking down barriers to their full inclusion.