Defensor bill extends PWD discounts to toll fees for expressways, skyways

Published December 3, 2021, 2:37 PM

by Ben Rosario

Anakalusugan Partylist Rep. Michael Defensor is batting for the grant of a 20-percent discount on road tollway fees for the country’s 1.5 million persons with disabilities.

Rep. Michael Defensor 2

With payment for tollways collected by various skyways and expressways in the country not covered by the current discount enjoyed by seniors, Defensor said that with the nearly restrictive cost of toll fees, it is high time that these be covered.

Defensor filed House Bill (HB) 10558 on the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Dec. 3 of every year is observed globally to promote the rights and welfare of individuals with long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments.

In HB 10558, PWD’s will enjoy the same 20 percent discount privilege for payment of toll fees in using skyways and expressways throughout the country. The bill provides that the discounts be deducted already whenever seniors transcat prepaid toll fees through radio frequency identification devices (RFIDs) or similar devices being currently observed in all major tollways and expressways.

Defensor proposed that in availing of the discount, the motor vehicle using the skyway or expressway must be registered in the name of the PWD, who shall present and submit a copy of his or her PWD ID card to the tollway operator when applying for an RFID tag.

“Our measure, once enacted, will give greater meaning to the mandate of the 1987 Constitution for the State to prioritize the needs of vulnerable Filipinos,” Defensor said.

HB 10558 requires the Department of Transportation’s Toll Regulatory Board to issue the implementing rules to enforce the discount.

The bill seeks to amend the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons that grants them a wide range of benefits and privileges, including a 20 percent discount and exemption from the value-added tax on the sale of certain goods and services.

At present, PWDs already enjoy a 20 percent discount on public transport fares, including light rail transit rides.