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Disabled but not unable

  • Written by Dennis F. Fetalino
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 203

Pedxing is now a certified card-carrying PWD.( id number 042109-000-749 issued by the Imus City Government).

Yeah, you got it right.

A Person With Disability.

And it’s not just the single kind, mind you.

Get these: my left eye is totally blacked out; my right eye has a cloudy/hazy vision which makes me see things through the lens of those old Vincent Price films; my kidneys refuse to report for work because of job-condition issues; my heart is even more militant on work place issues as it serially  goes into an Incredible Hulk fits; and my bio-chemical profile is out of whack.
   
Still, I find life interesting, challenging even.
   
Especially  now.
   
Why? Because as a PWD, Pedxing  enjoys certain perks and privileges granted by law to persons with limited physical mobility or impaired faculty.
   
Yes, you name it—discounts freebies, seating privileges, and dedicated lanes etc.
   
Following are the pertinent provisions of RA 9442: 
   
AN ACT AMENDING REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7277, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE “MAGNA CARTA FOR DISABLED PERSONS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES”
   
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
   
SECTION 1.A new chapter, to be denominated as “Chapter 8. Other privileges and Incentives” is hereby added to Title Two of Republic Act No. 7277, otherwise known as the “Magna Carta for Disabled Persons”, with new Sections 32 and 33, to read as follows:
   
“CHAPTER 8. Other Privileges and Incentives
   
“SEC. 32. Persons with disability shall be entitled to the following:
   
(a) At least twenty percent (20%) discount from all establishments relative to the utilization of all services in hotels and similar lodging establishments; restaurants and recreation centers for the exclusive use or enjoyment of persons with disability;
   
(b) A minimum of twenty percent (20%) discount on admission fees charged by theaters, cinema houses, concert halls, circuses, carnivals and other similar places of culture, leisure and amusement for the exclusive use of enjoyment of persons with disability;
   
(c) At least twenty percent (20%) discount for the purchase of medicines in all drugstores for the exclusive use or enjoyment of persons with disability;
   
(d) At least twenty percent (20%) discount on medical and dental services including diagnostic and laboratory fees such as, but not limited to, X-rays, computerized tomography scans and blood tests, in all government facilities, subject to guidelines to be issued by the Department of Health (DOH), in coordination with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth);
   
(e) At least twenty percent (20%) discount on medical and dental services including diagnostic and laboratory fees, and professional fees of attending doctors in all private hospitals and medical facilities, in accordance with the rules and regulations to be issued by the DOH, in coordination with the PhilHealth;
   
(f) At least twenty percent (20%) discount on fare for domestic air and sea travel for the exclusive use or enjoyment of persons with disability;
   
(g) At least twenty percent (20%) discount in public railways, skyways and bus fare for the exclusive use and enjoyment of person with disability;
   
(h) Educational assistance to persons with disability, for them to pursue primary, secondary, tertiary, post tertiary, as well as vocational or technical education, in both public and private schools, through the provision of scholarships, grants, financial aids, subsidies and other incentives to qualified persons with disability, including support for books, learning material, and uniform allowance to the extent feasible: Provided, That persons with disability shall meet minimum admission requirements;
   
(i) To the extent practicable and feasible, the continuance of the same benefits and privileges given by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), and Pag-IBIG, as the case may be, as are enjoyed by those in actual service;
   
(j) To the extent possible, the government may grant special discounts in special programs for persons with disability on purchase of basic commodities, subject to guidelines to be issued for the purpose by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA); and
   
(k) Provision of express lanes for persons with disability in all commercial and government establishments; in the absence thereof, priority shall be given to them.
   
The abovementioned privileges are available only to persons with disability who are Filipino citizens upon submission of any of the following as proof of his/her entitlement thereto:
   
Look like elite club entitlements?
   
Far  from  them.
   
Actually, they are merely social equalizers.
   
They are meant to level the playing field between PWDs and the rest of society.
   
Thus, these “especial treats” should not be begrudged them  PWDs.
   
Some PWDs, however, do not expect, much less, demand these special concessions.
   
In fact, they resent them.
   
They want to be taken as -- equals normal regular folks.
   
And I don’t blame them.
   
I would be upset to attend a cocktail party if one wise guy suddenly young’s out a wheelchair to welcome me in.
   
It would be to laborious to cite prominent PWDs who excelled in their chosen fields.
   
Suffice it to say they are a relentless bunch in practicing their craft.
   
Under pain of being prematurely unplugged from the soft ice cream machine aka dialyzer, pedxing all so wishes to thank the following crew/staff of the DCMC-DU who pamper yours truly during my afternoon “class”:RHOAN, JEMAR, JESSICA, TIN,GEORGE, ARNEL,NICOLE, YASSER, DIANNA. The Nephrology naps   are immensely satisfying because of them. Behold God’s glory and seek His mercy.  Pause and pray, people.