Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid has filed a bill seeking to provide monthly social pension to Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) who are currently without permanent source of income, or regular support from his/ her relatives to meet his/her basic needs.
Senate Bill 1506 seeks to give priority to the needs of vulnerable sectors such as PWDs who are suffering from restriction of different abilities, as a result of a mental, physical or sensory impairment. Senator Lapid believes that because this sector faces limitations in their functions or activities which often results to joblessness, all the more there is a need for the government to provide adequate social services for them.
“Sa panahon na matindi ang pagsubok at kahirapan na pinagdaraanan ng publiko, wag sana natin kalimutan na mas higit na hirap ang dinaranas ng mga kapatid nating may kapansanan. Kailangan nila ng tulong mula sa gubyerno at karapatan din nilang makatanggap ng ayuda para makabili ng mga pangangailangan nila,” Lapid said.
Under the proposed bill, all indigent PWD’s, as verified and certified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) shall be entitled to a monthly social pension amounting to Two thousand pesos (P2,000.00).
An initial amount of Two Billion pesos (P2,000,000,000) is pegged to be allocated for the first year of its operation and shall be included in the annual General Appropriations.
“Malaking bagay na may dagdag tulong pinansyal ang ating gubyerno sa mga kapatid nating may kapansanan at walang regular na pinagkukunan ng kita. Inaasahan nating gagamitin ang ayudang ito para ipambili ng kanilang pagkain at gamot kada buwan. Sisiguraduhin din natin na maglalagay ng sapat na pondo ang Kongreso para mapatupad ng maayos at mabilis ang programang ito oras na maisabatas na ito,” Lapid added.
To implement the program effectively, the DSWD and NCDA are tasked to create a database of all indigent PWDs. Renewed efforts must be made to collect comprehensive and accurate information and to update the database regularly.
The issuance of an authentic PWD Identification card, pursuant to the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities (RA 7277), is a pre-requisite to qualify as a beneficiary under this Act.
There are however, penalties which will be implemented to any PWD or his/her parent, relative or any degree of consanguinity, or any third person who will be found to be deliberately committing any fraudulent act of enrolling a PWD to the program when the said person is not indigent; or when said PWD is already capable of supporting his/her own self as certified by the DSWD.
A fine of not less than Twenty-five thousand pesos (P25,000.00) but not exceeding Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) will be charged for the first violation. While for any subsequent violation, a fine of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000) but not exceeding One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000) will be implemented.
Meanwhile, the DSWD and NCDA shall annually submit a report to Congress about the status of the implementation of this Act for the purpose of review and recommendation of additional measures necessary for the attainment of the objectives of this Act./Stacy Ang