Upgrading the PWD Magna Carta

2 Dec

I had the great pleasure of representing the families of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), at the ceremonial signing of the RA 10754, an “upgrade” of the Magna Carta of PWDs. The authors from the Senate and Congress were present; and the good folks from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Health, and the National Council on Disability Affairs who drafted Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) were also there to take a bow.

Representing families of persons with disabilities

The salient points of the new law are better explained in the IRR which can be found here: http://bit.ly/2oI9seT.
1) The discounts previously provided to PWDs are no longer subject to a 12 percent tax.
2) PWDs may now access educational assistance
3) Caregivers and guardians of PWDs (up to the 4th degree of consanguinity) can claim an additional 25,000 as tax deductions on their annual tax return.

The only hiccup in all this is that the IRR, which is intended to clarify all matters regarding implementation, carries clauses that point to Bureau of Internal Revenue to “issue the corresponding Revenue Regulations and/or Revenue Memorandum Circulars” related to the granting of the VAT-exemptions for PWDs and of the additional tax exemptions to their families. Still, progress. Yey!

[April 2016 Update: The BIR FAILED the disability community by NOT issuing the required Revenue Memo Circular to explain the implementation to employers and taxpayers — in time for the 2016 tax deadline.]

With RA 10754 sponsors, Rep. Emi Rubiano, Mr. Martin Romualdez, Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez

   

The PWD Advocacy Community comes together!

Sharing the speech I delivered below:

Ako po si Mona Veluz, na nasisilbing Pambansang Pangulo ng Autism Society Philippines.

At sa ngalan ng mga pangkaraniwang Pilipino na nagbabayad ng buwis, nagtatrabaho, nag-aalaga ng aming mga anak at naghahangad na isang magandang kinabukasan para sa mga musmos naming may kapansanan, maraming salamat po — Senator Sonny Angara, Representative Martin Romualdez, Representative Calixto-Rubiano, Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, Undersecretary Bayugo, NCDA Executive Director Carmen Zubiaga, sa mga ahensiya, kawani at mga fellow advocates — na tumulong para mabalangkas ang RA 10754 at ng Implementing Rules and Regulations nito.

Marami pong kailangan gawin ang gobyerno para sa mga taong may kapansan at kanilang mga magulang at pamilya. And for a neurodevelopmental disability like autism, the critical time for government to help happens in childhood, when intervention impact PWDs the most and when young families are often just starting out in building their lives and dreaming of a more abundant future.

Napakalaki po ng impact ng RA 10754 at ng tuluy-tuloy na pagpapalakas ng Magna Carta for PWDs, hindi lang para sa mga taong may kapansanan, pero para rin po sa mas malaking komunidad ng mga nag-aalaga at nagmamahal sa kanila.

The new law equalizes the social and economic playing field for persons with disabilities. To the advocates who crafted this law and IRR, thank you for lifting up our nation’s PWDs and being the voices of those who are less heard.

Mabuhay po ang mga PWDs! Mabuhay po ang mga masisipag na Pilipino! Maraming salamat po!

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