By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez has ordered the Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD) Office to recall all identification (ID) cards they have previously issued to Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) here, effective immediately.
In a memorandum order dated February 5, Benitez noted that this move is essential to ensure data security, comply with updated regulations, and address other relevant concerns regarding the PWD cards, including the indiscriminate issuance of PWD IDs which has come to his knowledge.
Benitez said that this is part of the city’s ongoing program to secure and streamline the processing of PWD IDs.
He also directed the said office to strictly comply with the provisions of Republic Act 10754, or “An Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability (PWD),” its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), Department of Health (DOH) Administrative Order No. 2013-0005-A, and other related regulations in the issuance and replacement of new PWD IDs.
In a press briefing yesterday, Benitez clarified that this only covers those PWDs who have been issued IDs in the city.
The city has issued around 12,000 PWD IDs, based on the data, according to City Legal Officer Romeo Carlos Ting Jr.
Benitez said that the existing PWD IDs have no QR code yet, thus there is no way to validate them, unlike the senior citizen IDs, which are already covered by the QR code system.
This move came after the city had recently found out about a fake business permit scanned through a QR code.
Benitez said that PWD IDs will be replaced by PVC cards with QR codes for easy validation.
Benitez said the city is now in the process of issuing new cards to qualified beneficiaries. “We will try to do it within the week,” he added.
Following this development, Benitez said that the city will put up a 24/7 hotline so that business establishments could be able to check the authenticity of the PWD card and its owner.
He said that those who would like to seek a temporary PWD card with QR code can visit the Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC), as they will be provided a special window for its processing.
He said that the new PWD cards will also have the same expiration as the previous IDs, which is five years.