June 18, 2021

PWD cards for permanent impairments now have a lifetime validity

This week, a bill in the House of Representatives that would allow for the lifelong validity of persons with disabilities (PWD) identity cards (IDs) given to people with permanent disabilities passed out of committee.

House Bills (HBs) 8590 and 9203, also known as the proposed Lifetime Validity of PWD Cards Act, were passed by the House Special Committee on Persons with Disabilities.

PWDs are presently obliged to renew their IDs every three years for re-evaluation of their eligibility to benefits relating to their handicap status, according to Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas, the bill’s author.

“This extra bureaucracy adds unnecessary barriers, particularly for those with complete permanent disabilities,” Vargas said.

PWDs with persistent impairments, such as pre-existing birth abnormalities, lifelong blindness or deafness, or the loss of limbs or body parts, would benefit from the law.

“This law acknowledges the significant contributions of disabled people and their well-deserved reintegration into society,” he added.

Re-evaluating the cardholder’s disability status, particularly for persons with permanent disabilities, to renew the validity of their PWD cards should be reconsidered, according to Paraaque City Rep. Joy Tambunting, the author of HB 8590, because it adds to the inconvenience and burden of these individuals.

“While the reasoning’s purpose is understandable, particularly with certain people who misuse the system,” Tambunting said, “this logic is inapplicable to those with persistent impairments and simply compels them to pay for card renewal every three years.”

It aims to change the pertinent sections of Republic Act 7277, often known as the Magna Carta for Disabled People.

The Municipal or City Health Office where the PWD lives must certify the issue of PWD cards with lifelong validity for people with permanent impairments.

During the hearing, stakeholders emphasized the need of first defining “permanent disability” and ensuring that it adheres to the globally recognized definition.

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