Persons with disability (PWD) can soon buy some products and avail of services without paying additional taxes.
They will have to thank Republic Act (RA) 10754, or An Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons With Disability (PWDs), whose Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) will soon be in place eight months after the law took effect on March 23.
Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said RA 10754 will give additional value-added tax exemption in purchasing certain goods and services that are covered by VAT.
This is on top of the 20 percent discount they are already entitled to under Republic Act 9442, or An Act Amending RA 7277, or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons and for Other Purposes, Taguiwalo added.
The tax exemption law covers restaurants; recreation centers, such as theaters, cinema houses and concert halls; and lodging establishments, such as inns, motorist hotels and dormitories.
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.
Taguiwalo noted that RA 10754 directs all establishments to place signage on the benefits and privileges of persons with disability within their premises so that the PWD will know what they are entitled to.
The law also declares that subsequent purchases made by the PWD on the same day from the same establishment are still subject to VAT-exemption and 20 percent discount, she said.
Other salient features of the IRR include reiteration of the right of PWD to social insurance (thru the Government Service Insurance System, Social Security System or 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 provision of tax incentives for those caring for and living with persons with disability up to the fourth degree of affinity or consanguinity.
Further, RA 10754 also covers 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 cutoff as well as food for special medical purposes.
It also makes the benefits and privileges available to Filipinos who hold foreign passports but are registered as dual citizens and those who have reacquired their Filipino citizenship thru RA 9225, or the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003.
According to Taguiwalo, double discounts are not allowed by the same law.
“This means that if a person with disability is a senior citizen, who is also entitled to a 20 percent discount under his/her valid senior citizen identification card [ID], the PWD shall use either his/her Senior Citizen ID or PWD ID card to avail of the 20 percent discount, she explained.
The DSWD chief said the PWD should present proof of entitlement such as ID issued by the Persons with Disability Affairs Office or the City/Municipal Social Welfare Development Office where the PWD reside, passport of the concerned person with apparent disability or an ID issued by the National Council on Disability Affairs for the PWD to enjoy their expanded benefits and privileges as provided by pro-PWD laws.