To avoid fraud and to ensure legitimate Persons With Disability (PWDs) will benefit from it, the Quezon City government will implement stricter measures in the issuance of PWD identification cards.
The stringent process is contained in Memorandum Circular No. 16 signed by Mayor Joy Belmonte, who issued the order following reports on the prevalence of fraudulent PWD IDs, including the case of six members of a well-off family that were given IDs in 2018 despite not having any supporting documents.
“These guidelines aim to help prevent fraud in the issuance and use of PWD IDs while ensuring that legitimate PWDs can continue to obtain their IDs in an expeditious manner,” said Belmonte.
“Hindi natin puwedeng hayaang maabuso ang batas ng mga tao na nais makalamang sa kapwa,” she added.
Under the memorandum, the Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office (PDAO) is tasked to coordinate with a Quezon City government-owned hospital to verify the claim if a PWD declares a having a disability that is not visibly apparent.
“The PDAO will schedule the applicant at one of our hospitals and have them undergo a personal assessment by the appropriate specialist medical doctor,” said Belmonte.
If the doctor confirms the disability, only then will the PDAO issue the PWD ID.
For PWDs with apparent disability, or those with obvious physical manifestation, they only need to submit their latest medical certificate or abstract describing the disability or a photo showing their apparent disability.
“An indigent with a disability, but no medical certificate or abstract, may undergo free examination in one of our hospitals, provided they submit a certificate of indigency from the barangay,” said Belmonte.
Aside from the medical abstract/certificate of verification, PWDs must also submit proof that they are residents of Quezon City, such as a government ID with address or barangay certificate of residency, and 2x2 ID picture.
To avoid a repeat of the incident involving members of a well-off family all with PWD IDs, the PDAO will scrutinize multiple applications from the same household or same address where the disabilities are not visibly apparent and have them undergo verification by a city-run hospital.
Earlier, Belmonte revealed that the culprit behind the issuance of PWD IDs to the six family members has been identified and was already issued a show-cause order to explain his previous action within 72 hours. A permanent employee of city hall, he and the PDAO head and other personnel were ordered back to their mother units during the change in administration in July 2019.
The six were issued PWD ID cards despite being unqualified under Republic Act No. 10754 or An Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability (PWD). Allegedly, they paid P2,000 each for the said cards.