PWD or Person With Disability is a term used to refer to a person who faces challenges in everyday life that most people take for granted. In inclusive educational institutions, these people are referred to as “differently abled”. In the Philippines, a person with disability is able to enjoy many of the privileges our senior citizens enjoy as well … so long as you have a PWD ID (which you can only get from City Hall in the city where you reside.
The universal symbol for a person with disability (PWD) is the man in a wheelchair. But the reality is, there are many types of disabilities and most of them have nothing to do with the ability to walk. A severe orthopedic disability is the most obvious, which is probably why they chose this symbol.
In most cases, though, people only see physical disabilities as a qualification for PWD. Below are the different types of disabilities that could qualify you or your family member for a PWD ID.
Types of disabilities:
To apply for a PWD ID you need to manifest any of the following disabilities:
- psychosocial disability – includes people with ADHD, Bi-polar disorder, long-term recurring depression, nervous breakdown, epilepsy, schizophrenia and other long-term recurring mental or behavioral problems
- mental disability
- hearing disability – partial to full deafness
- visual disability – partial to full blindness
- learning disability
- speech impairment
- orthopedic (musculoskeletal) disability – you will need to be specific about the ailment
For more comprehensive explanations on each type of disability click on this link to the article in PWDPhil.com.
Requirements for applying for a PWD ID
Don’t make up a disability that you don’t have just to be able to avail of the benefits. You wouldn’t pretend to be a senior citizen so why would you pretend to be a PWD?
- Fill up the Philippine Registry Form for Persons with Disability. I’ve scanned it for you and you can download the latest version of the form here.
- If you have a non-apparent disability get a medical certificate or abstract from your physician. Make sure to remind your doctor to include his PRC License No. below his signature and name. I’ve been told many doctors actually forget to do that which is funny since they know they are supposed to include it all the time.
- Get a barangay clearance from the barangay you reside at. They will require you to show a government ID displaying your address to verify that you do live in their barangay.
- Bring 2 pcs. 2×2 ID picture and 1 pc. 1X1 ID picture. The 2X2 ID pictures are for the application form and the 1X1 is for the movie booklet.
- You will be required to sign a piece of paper using a marker on the spot. This signature will be later scanned and used for your ID.
- In case you are unable to apply in person, you can send someone to process in your place but make sure to give them an authorization letter.
Are there laws that discuss the rights and privileges of PWD?
As matter of fact, there are a few we should all be aware of and the full documents can be viewed on the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) website.
- Republic Act No. 7277 is an act providing for the rehabilitation, self-development, and self-reliance of disabled persons and their integration into the mainstream of society and for other purposes
- Republic Act No. 9442 also known as the Magna Carta for disabled persons and for other purposes, it amends RA 7277
- Republic Act No. 10754 is an act that expands the benefits and privileges of PWD
Can an application get rejected?
Yes, when I was there I saw some people get rejected, usually from those who declare non-apparent disabilities. Others were told to come back if their documents were found to be incomplete. Most often the issue was with the medical certificate or abstract.
I heard some people who were applying say that they applied because their workmate told them that they should apply but they did not seem sure about why they were applying.
One woman was applying (and was told to come back at a later date) because she supposedly had a psychosocial disability but her medical certificate was not issued by a psychiatrist/psychologist. Keep in mind that your medical certificate or abstract should come from a doctor that specializes in your supposed disability. So, if she really has a psychosocial disability then she would visit the appropriate doctor, get tested, and certified.
Now, if you DO have the proper documentation or if you have an apparent disability then you have nothing to worry about.
How did I get approved?
If you have a non-apparent disability such as I do you might be hesitant to apply. I, for one, took my sweet time (5 years!) applying because I thought I would get rejected if I did.
Several years later (2018) I was finally able to apply. The most challenging thing was actually getting my medical certificate from my doctor since he is based in Cebu (which is also where I had my operation years ago).
As you can see in the ID I have an orthopedic (musculoskeletal) disability. Because of L5-S1 degenerative spondylolisthesis, I had to go through a procedure called transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) which means I have permanent titanium implants (rods) on my spine for stability.
Since the surgery in 2013, I am no longer experiencing intermittent loss of sensation on my legs. In exchange I now have limited flexibility and movement and I am unable to stay in one position for long (sitting, standing, etc.) but yes, I am mobile.
The medical certificate my doctor issued included the following, make sure that your doctor will include the same:
- if affiliated with a hospital it is a good idea to use the hospital’s letterhead
- indicate the name of the patient and diagnosis
- describe the condition
- indicate the type of disability you are applying for
- the signature, full name, and PRC License number
This applies to all non-apparent disabilities. FYI, it is better if you go there yourself than if you send a representative unless you are bed-ridden, immobile, or a minor.
What are the benefits attached to a PWD ID?
- Free movies on selected days and timeslots – this depends on what city you reside in. In Quezon City it is every Monday and Tuesday from 10am to 5pm, depending on the theater. You need to get the free movie booklet at the start of every year
- 5% discount on selected grocery items (meat, rice, coffee, vegetables, etc.), refer to the back of the PWD purchase booklet
- Exemption from 12% VAT on food, services, and prescribed medicines
- 20% discount on food, services, and prescribed medicines
- 20% discount on hotel and local flight bookings
- Priority parking – special parking slots are allotted near the elevators and entrances
- Priority lane when lining up for anything
- Discounted parking
Do all venues offer discounted parking?
Sadly, not all places offer this. Here are the ones I’ve confirmed that do (less 12% VAT, less 20%). I will indicate otherwise if there is any difference in the rate given.
- Manila City
- Robinson’s Manila
- U.N. Square on UN Avenue
- Park Square
- Quezon City
- Cyberpark Parking, Cubao
- Gateway Mall, Cubao
- Robinson’s Magnolia – first four hours free
- Philippine Heart Center Hospital Wing – first 2 hours free
- Philippine Heart Center Multilevel Parking
- Quezon City Hall – first 3 hours free
- SM Cubao – first 5 hours free
- Trinoma Mindanao Parking – first 4 hours free. I had to specify Mindanao parking because when I was parked at the North parking the girl at the booth said there were no discounts for PWD.
- U.P. Town Center
- San Juan
- Gallery Parkade, BGC
So far, parking facilities that were managed by Ayala Property Management Corporation (APMC) gave a discount but I think it would be premature to make a blanket statement and say all of them so I will just add more places as I discover them.
To everyone out there who is PWD but hesitated to apply, I hope this article will help you move things along. 🙂
For those who are envious of the benefits that PWD receives, don’t be. Trust me, we who are legitimately PWD wish we weren’t.