MANILA—The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is currently investigating the report on the alleged abuse of Persons with Disability (PWD) identification cards, following the viral post on social media wherein members of an entire family all had PWD discount cards.

The social media post, showing a photo of a family from Quezon City with members all supposedly having visual impairment and one with psychosocial disability, circulated on social media last 20 June 2020.

“Abuse of privilege in any law ruins the spirit behind it. Such discount is solely meant for actual persons with disability. DTI, through the Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB), is currently investigating the matter,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

He reported that a group of restaurant owners has reached out to DTI regarding multiple fraudulent usages of PWD ID cards.

Under Republic Act (RA) No. 10754, also known as “An Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability”, cardholders may avail of at least 20% discount and exemption from Value Added Tax (VAT) for certain goods and services, including food establishments, hotels, and recreational centers, as well as for the availment of medical and dental services and the purchase of essential drugs and medicines.

Undersecretary for Consumer Protection Group Ruth Castelo added that communications have been made to DTI on this growing concern by members of one of the largest groups of restaurant and food establishment owners around the country. 

“We are currently dealing with the matter and will file appropriate action against those found having fake PWD cards,” she said.

Sec. Lopez said: “Especially in this time of crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, people should not be abusing their PWD ID cards since many restaurant owners are also facing difficulty in keeping their businesses afloat.”

“Further, such action gives undue discrimination to people who actually have disabilities that we do not immediately see,” he added.

The trade chief also emphasized that such corruption is not tolerated and must immediately be reported to the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC). ♦

Date of Release: 22 June 2020