City gov’t beefs up efforts vs fraudulent PWD IDs

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

Amidst the rising cases of usage of fake Persons with Disability (PWD) identification cards (IDs), the city government has implemented enhanced measures to distinguish authentic ones.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas recently signed an Executive Order (EO) mandating the installation of security labels on IDs issued to PWDs.

The EO, approved on November 29, emphasized that since the PWD IDs grant discounts, “there is a great tendency for the people to counterfeit their identification cards in order to avail of such benefit.”

“There have been reports and actual apprehensions of counterfeit PWD identification cards,” it added.

PWDs are given an automatic 20 percent direct discount and are exempted from paying value-added tax (VAT) when purchasing certain products and services nationwide for their exclusive use.

The PWD discount and VAT exemption apply to food, drinks, desserts, and other consumable food items.

The city mayor said to curb the production and proliferation of counterfeit PWD IDs, “there is a need to install a security feature on the same.”

According to the EO, all PWD IDs must now have a security label in the form of a traceable, customized tamper-proof, and evident security label.

The Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) of the city government will be responsible for providing and installing the security label.

For previously issued PWD IDs, holders have to return them to the PDAO for the installation of the security label.

Failure to present the identification card for the installation of the security label within this year will result in its invalidation.

Earlier this August, Treñas warned the public of the use of fake PWD IDs and encouraged commercial establishments to report and consult his office the legitimacy of the ID.

“As a lawyer, it is my opinion that the user of a falsified PWD card is presumed to be the maker of the card and is therefore guilty of falsification of a public document. This is a very serious offense and is punishable under the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines,” he added.