Stricter PWD ID rules enforced after scam
SunStar Cebu City

Stricter PWD ID rules enforced after scam

MORE stringent measures are to be implemented in the newly signed guidelines for Person with Disabilities (PWD) Identification (ID) cards in Cebu City.

Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, in an interview on Tuesday, July 2, 2024, with “Beyond the Headlines,” SunStar Cebu’s online news and commentary program, said he already signed on Monday, July 1, the new guidelines for a person to qualify for the release of the PWD IDs.

This was in response to the controversial and illegal selling of fake PWD IDs, ranging from P2,000 to 4,000 per piece, as revealed by City Councilor James Cuenco on the last week of May 2024, forcing the City Government to suspend the printing and releasing of all PWD IDs.

Garcia said the previous guidelines, which were based on the specifications from the Department of Health (DOH), were “very general” and were prone to abuse, especially with the culprit behind the sale of the fake PWD IDs.

He said the new guidelines still align with the DOH specification, however, there will be strict implementation of the PWD ID applications.

“For example, in order to get a PWD ID, kung naa kay diabetes, pwede ma na (it is) allowed ma na sa guidelines. Is having diabetes really a disability?” Garcia said.

He added, “It only becomes a disability if affected na ang imong mata or naputol na ang imong tudlo (you were blinded or your finger has been cut). But if it is merely nga naa koy doctor’s certification nga diabetic ko, igo naba nga makakuha ka og (that I have a doctor’s certification that I am diabetic, it is enough that you can get) ID?”

The acting mayor stressed that before an individual with a certain disease can receive a PWD ID, there must be a doctor’s certification saying thedisease has severely affected the individual’s daily activities and physical functions.

Holders of PWD IDs are entitled to various benefits, including discounts of up to 20 percent on various commodities and services.

Garcia said that this will be implemented for new applicants of the PWD ID. In the case of existing valid ID card holders, the new guidelines can be applied during the renewal of their IDs.

He said these new guidelines were prepared by acting dministrator Christine Joy Batucan.

On the other hand, Garcia said the City Government is currently looking for suppliers for the printing of the new PWD ID cards equipped with security measures to avoid counterfeits.

This will avoid the printing of the PWD ID in paper and laminating it, as the new ID cards’ security is likened to the features present in an ATM card.

The printing and issuance of the PWD ID cards will also serve as a pilot implementation for other programs of the City Government that require the printing of ID cards for identification, such as the Senior Citizens’ ID cards, Garcia said.

Garcia said the plan was to conduct a barangay-to-barangay campaign for the printing and issuance of PWD ID cards.

He added that, more or less, there are around 20,000 registered PWDs in the city, in comparison to the 100,000 registered senior citizens.

In terms of cost, the official said the City Government will not be limited to the purchase of plastic ID cards, but it will also purchase machines and equipment for the whole system.

SunStar Publishing Inc.