Leyte Representative-elect Ferdinand Martin Romualdez on Sunday urged the Department of Social Welfare and Development and National Council on Disability Affairs to give the public and Congress an update on the compliance rate of a “malasakit” (compassionate) law exempting people with disabilities from the payment of value-added tax for certain goods and services.
Romualdez, principal author of Republic Act No. 10754 or an Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability called on the House of Representatives to use its oversight function by assessing how the PWD law is being enforced.
“We want to know from the government how the concerned people have been complying to this law. We should show ‘malasakit’ to the plight of our PWDs. Congress should also exercise its oversight function,” he said.
The Leyte lawmaker is the president of the Philippine Constitution Association and Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats.
Reelected Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, Hugpong ng Pagbabago chairperson, has endorsed Romualdez as the Speaker of the 18th Congress.
Romualdez’s measure was signed into law on March 23, 2016, giving exemptions to over 1.5-million PWDs from the 12-percent value-added tax payment on certain goods and services.
“We just want to ensure that PWDs are enjoying the benefits they deserve under the law three years after its enactment,” Romualdez said.
“Let us work to beef up efforts in informing the public about the standards set by law for the rights and privileges of our PWDs,” he said.
He reiterated his commitment to push the legislative agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte in the next three years.
He said the DSWD, NCDA and the House of Representatives must also look into possible abuses by several dishonest people or illegitimate beneficiaries.
“Possible cases of abuse in the privileges granted to PWDs under the law must be checked. Only legitimate PWDs should benefit from the law,” Romualdez said.
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