June 17, 2021

A House committee has approved legislation offering financial assistance to people with disabilities

During the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis, a House of Representatives subcommittee passed a bill on Wednesday that gives a PHP750 yearly emergency grant to people with disabilities (PWDs).

The House Special Committee on Persons with Disabilities, headed by Rep. Ma. Lourdes Arroyo of Negros Occidental, passed House Bill 7180, also known as the Covid-19 Emergency Health Grant for Persons with Disabilities Act, after a virtual hearing.

Disability is not taken into consideration in the government’s current anti-poverty efforts, according to Arroyo, who was also the bill’s author. This is evident in the absence of specific initiatives for the sector, even at the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Members of the PWD community, who are unquestionably recognized as a vulnerable sector and qualified beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program, have “basically been barred” from receiving much-needed help and assistance from their fair portion of the SAP, she said.

The law aims to offer targeted financial support to PWDs in the form of “emergency disability health grants” to help pay disability-related expenses incurred as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic and the new normal.

The PHP750 grant will be paid in one lump amount each year. The award will be distributed through cash transfer.

The DSWD will be the main agency in putting the new legislation into effect since it guarantees that PWDs will have quick, secure, and direct access to the cash award.

House Bill 9243, which would provide extra benefits to PWDs, was also passed by the committee.

It would modify Republic Act 7277, often known as the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, for this reason.

When the bill becomes law, PWDs will be entitled to a monthly payment of PHP500 to supplement their daily sustenance and other medical requirements.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), Engr. Emerito Rojas, has said that while completing the legislation, Congress must examine money availability, money source, identification of eligible beneficiaries, and cost-benefit assessments.

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