By Alexandria San Juan
Following reports of the proliferation of fake ‘persons with disability’ (PWD) identification cards, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has urged everyone to report individuals facilitating this illegal act.
In a statement issued by the Department, it said they are now closely coordinating with the Department of Health, NCDA, local government units, and law enforcement agencies to crack down on the selling of fake PWD IDs in public.
“DSWD stresses that falsification of public documents and the use of falsified documents are criminal offenses and are punishable under the Revised Penal Code,” it warned.
According to the DSWD, PWD IDs should only be issued to persons with permanent disabilities such as psychosocial, chronic illness, learning, mental, visual, orthopedic, speech, and hearing conditions as stated in Administrative Order No. 001, Series of 2008 of the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA).
Based on the order, PWDs are defined as persons suffering from disabling diseases that limit their ability to normally perform day-to-day activities.
“There must be appropriate documentation confirming the medical or disability condition of a person applying for a [PWD] ID. The documents may be any of the following: Apparent Disability Medical Certificate issued by a licensed private or government physician; School Assessment issued by a licensed teacher and duly signed by the school principal; or a Certificate of Disability issued by the head of the business establishment or head of the non-government organization,” the DSWD explained.
“On the other hand, those with non-apparent disability must secure a Non-Apparent Disability Certificate from a licensed private or government physician,” the agency continued.
Legitimate PWD IDs, the DSWD said, will only be issued through the Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO), located in every city or municipality across the country.
To verify the authenticity of PWD ID cards, the public may check the name of the ID owner with the Philippine Registry of Persons with Disability, which is managed by the Department of Health (DOH), through https://pwd.doh.gov.ph/login.php, or in the PDAO where the ID was issued.
“The Department enjoins the public to work together to protect and ensure that the rights, benefits, and privileges of persons with disability are not subjected to abuses by unscrupulous individuals or groups,” the Department emphasized.
The Social Welfare Department also asked the public to report incidents involving the sale of fake IDs to the NCDA, PDAO, or to any law enforcement agency.