Iloilo City cracks down on counterfeit PWD IDs with security labels

ILOILO. Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas urges the public to transact directly with our PDAO at City Hall to protect the rights of PWD ID holders.
ILOILO. Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas urges the public to transact directly with our PDAO at City Hall to protect the rights of PWD ID holders. (Leo Solinap/SunStar Philippines)

ILOILO City has implemented stricter measures to combat the rising problem of fake identification cards used by individuals impersonating persons with disability (PWDs) to claim undue benefits.

In November 2023, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas signed Executive Order No. 157, mandating the inclusion of tamper-proof security labels on all PWD identification cards issued within the city.

This initiative stems from concerns surrounding the misuse of IDs following amendments to the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability (Republic Act No. 7277), which grants PWDs a 20 percent discount on various goods and services.

The new directive requires every PWD ID to feature a traceable, customized, and tamper-evident security label.

The Iloilo City Government's Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) is responsible for producing, installing, and monitoring these labels.

Previously issued and valid PWD IDs must be updated with the new security labels within three months of the order's effectivity (by February 29, 2024). Failure to comply will render the ID invalid.

The order outlines prohibited acts such as producing, selling, distributing, or using counterfeit PWD IDs. Violators face criminal and administrative penalties, with the City Legal Office overseeing legal proceedings.

The new guidelines took effect immediately upon signing in November 2023.

The deadline for obtaining a security label was February 29, 2024, and establishments within Iloilo City are no longer obligated to offer discounts to PWDs with IDs lacking the official security label since March 1, 2024.

"As the mayor, I take the responsibility of ensuring the welfare and rights of our citizens seriously. It's disheartening to see individuals using fake PWD IDs to take advantage of the system," Treñas last month.

Treñas is taking a stand and sending letters to those identified, letting them know that their actions have consequences.

"We will not tolerate fraud and will pursue legal actions to protect the rights of genuine PWDs," Treñas said.

On April 17, 2024, Iloilo City Hall issued an advisory regarding unauthorized individuals offering to install fake security labels on PWD IDs for a fee.

"A report has reached Iloilo City Hall that there are unscrupulous people who offer to install security label for Persons with Disability (PWD) identification cards in exchange for P700," the Iloilo City Government statement said.

The PDAO remains the sole entity authorized to install genuine security labels on Iloilo City-issued PWD IDs, and this service is entirely free of charge.

"Only PDAO-Iloilo City is authorized to place the security label on PWD IDs issued by them. Let it be known that legal actions will be taken against those who are doing this illegal activity. We cannot allow this to continue to the detriment of those who are PWD ID holders with real security label. I urge the public to transact directly with our PDAO at the ground floor of City Hall," Treñas told SunStar in his text message.

Furthermore, the security label is specific to the city, excluding PWD cards issued by provinces or municipalities.

Iloilo City's initiative highlights its commitment to protecting the rights of genuine PWDs and ensuring the proper utilization of designated benefits.

The implementation of security labels aims to curb fraudulent activities and promote a more equitable system. (Leo Solinap/SunStar Philippines)


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