My daughter is enroled in a special program for disabled children here in our province but my husband and I are planning to enrol her next year in a regular school in Manila. We will hand-carry some of her books and ship by mail the rest of her teaching aids/materials as our luggage capacity is limited. I was told by our barangay (village) chairman that there is free mail shipping for the disabled. Is this true? If so, what should I take into consideration? Your advice will be highly appreciated.
Republic Act (RA) 7277 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons affords rights and privileges for disabled persons. One of them is the privilege of free postal charges. As provided under Section 24 of RA No. 7277:
“Postal charges shall be free on the following:
(a) article and literature like books and periodicals, orthopedic and other devices, and teaching aids for the use of the disabled sent by mail within the Philippines and abroad; and
(b) aids and orthopedic devices for the disabled sent abroad by mail for repair: Provided, That the aforesaid items are for personal purposes only: Provided further, That the disabled person is a marginalized disabled as certified by the Social Welfare and Development Office of the local government unit concerned or the Department of Social Welfare and Development.”
Accordingly, you may avail of this benefit in behalf of your daughter if you and your husband intend to ship her books and/or teaching aids/materials by mail. Such benefit, however, is only applicable to those to be shipped or mailed through the Philippine postal office. It must also be established, pursuant to RULE VI (L) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 7277, that your daughter is a Filipino citizen and that she is a marginalized disabled person as certified to by the Social Welfare and Development Office of the municipality or city government unit where she is a resident or by the representative of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in the municipality or city government unit where she is a resident. The term “marginalized disabled person,” as referred here, means “one who lacks access to rehabilitation services and opportunities to be able to participate fully in socio-economic activities and who have no means of livelihood or whose income falls below the poverty threshold.” Further, your daughter, either as the sender/or addressee, must have the necessary accreditation certificate issued by the Postmaster General or his representative from the Philippine Postal Corp. Under the same provision of the IRR, it is required that the mentioned books and devices are for the exclusive use of the disabled person and must be unsealed when mailed, may be opened for postal inspection and does not contain commercial advertising materials. Lastly, the envelope or wrapper to be used must bear your daughter’s name on the left upper corner along with her complete address, and the words “Free Master for Disabled Person.” Private or unauthorized use to avoid payment of postage is penalized by a fine or imprisonment or both on the upper right corner.
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com