Bill proposes P2,000 monthly allowance for PWDs

BW FILE PHOTO/ LSDAVALJR

A PROPOSED law that will provide a P2,000 monthly allowance to persons with disabilities (PWD) has been filed at the House of Representatives.  

“Because of multiple socio-economic barriers, persons with disabilities have less income and more expenses than those without disabilities,” Quezon City Rep. Patrick Michael D. Vargas, the bill’s author, said in a statement on Sunday.  

“And under the COVID-19 crisis, their economic vulnerabilities have intensified further preventing them and their families from escaping poverty,” he added.   

House Bill 5803 or the Disability Support Allowance Bill seeks to establish a social protection program to support PWDs, who represent at least 12% of the Philippine adult population.   

The bill’s explanatory note states that Filipinos with disabilities “face significant barriers in accessing education and health care, community and citizenship participation, and seizing economic opportunities.”  

Under the bill, PWDs include “those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”  

Mr. Vargas said existing measures supporting PWDs — including a 20% discount on certain products and services, mandatory and subsidized Philippine Health Insurance Corp. membership, and financial subsidy programs — “have significant limitations in who can benefit from them.”  

The bill mandates a progressive roll-out of the monthly allowance.   

In the first three years, the measure will only cover children with disabilities up to the age of 17. It will be expanded in the next three years to include those with disabilities up to the age of 59. After that, the program will cover all PWDs.  

The amount needed for the implementation of the bill will be included in the annual national budget. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan