By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Leyte first district Rep.-elect Martin Romualdez is calling on Congress to keep an eye on the full implementation of a 2016 law that exempts more than 1.5 million persons with disabilities (PWDs) from the payment of 12-percent value-added tax (VAT) on certain goods and services.
The principal author of Republic Act (RA) No. 10754, or the Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability (PWD), said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) should apprise the Congress on how the law was being implemented.
“We want to know from the government how the concerned people have been complying to this law. We should show malasakit to the plight of our PWDs. Congress should also exercise its oversight function,” Romualdez who was endorsed by reelected Davao City Mayor and Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) chairperson Sara Duterte-Carpio to be the next House Speaker, said in a statement.
He said the possible abuses by some dishonest people or illegitimate beneficiaries should be looked into.
“Possible cases of abuse in the privileges granted to PWDs under the law must be checked. Only legitimate PWDs should benefit from the law,” he said. “Magmalasakit tayo sa ating PWDs. Tulungan nating masiguro na naipapatupad ng tama ang batas.”
Republic Act (RA) No. 10754 was signed into law on March 23, 2016 by then President Benigno Aquino III.
Then Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, and officials of the Department of Health (DoH) and NCDA signed the law’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRRs), expanding the benefits and privileges of PWDs.
“We just want to ensure that PWDs are enjoying the benefits they deserve under the law three years after its enactment,” Romualdez, who served as the leader of the so-called House Independent Bloc Leader of the previous 16th Congress, said.