THE Department of Social Welfare and Development said Sunday persons with disabilities can already avail of the benefits under Republic Act 1054, noting that the implementing rules and regulations of the law was signed Dec.1.
Following the signing on Dec. 1 and the publication of the IRR on Dec. 8 in two major national newspapers, availment of the privileges commenced on Dec. 23.
The DSWD also explained that there is no need for supplemental guidelines from implementing agencies because the law and the IRR are sufficient to grant the discount to PWDs.
“Our PWDs can now avail of the discounts. There should be no problem about availment as the IRR is sufficient basis for the grant of the discounts. If they encounter problems in availing of their privileges or they have further inquiries, they can contact the [National Council on Disability Affairs],” DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said.
She said the law grants PWDs exemptions from value-added tax on the purchase of certain goods and services from all establishments subject to VAT for their exclusive use, enjoyment, or availment.
This is on top of the 20-percent discount they are already entitled to under Republic Act 9442, also known as An Act Amending R.A. No. 7277, Otherwise Known as the “Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, and for Other Purposes.”
The act covers restaurants, recreation centers, such as theaters, cinema houses, concert halls and lodging establishments.
It also applies to the purchase of medicines and foods for special medical purposes; medical and dental services, including laboratory fees and professional fees of attending doctors; domestic air, sea, and land transportation travel; and funeral and burial services.
For this purpose, the law requires all establishments to place signages of the benefits and privileges of persons with disability within their premises so PWDs will know what they are entitled to. It also declares that subsequent purchases made by the PWDs on the same day from the same establishment are still subject to VAT-exemption and 20-percent discount.
Other salient features of the IRR include the reiteration of the rights of PWDs to social insurance (thru the Government Service Insurance System, Social Security System, Pag-Ibig), educational assistance, special discounts in the purchase of basic necessities and prime commodities, and express lanes in all commercial and government establishments.
It also includes the provision of tax incentives for those caring for and living with persons with disabilities up to the fourth degree of affinity or consanguinity.
Its unique features include the inclusion of certain vitamins, minerals and herbs in the definition of drug or medicine as long as these are in accordance with the Food and Drug Administration’s cut off as well as foods for special medical purposes but double discounts are not allowed.