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    Posted February 14, 2014 by

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    Support for PWDs in Phl gains ground

    THE National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) in Manila on Friday expressed support for the enactment into law of a congressional proposal exempting persons with disability (PWDs) from the value-added tax (VAT) imposed by the government.
    The council has earlier debunked claims by critics that the proposal would result in revenue loss of the government and be susceptible to abuse.
    In a letter to Rep. Romero "Miro" Quimbo (2nd District, Marikina City), chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, NCDA acting executive director Carmen Reyes-Zubiaga said House Bill 1039 seeks to exempt PWDs from the VAT on certain goods and services.
    PWDs are already enjoying the 20 percent discount on the sale of goods and services under Republic Act 7277 or the "Magna Carta for Persons with Disability."
    Reyes-Zubiaga said that on the issue of revenue loss, the segment of population who will be able to avail of these VAT exempt privileges is negligible compared to the population at large.
    She said the 2010 Census on Housing and Population peg the disability population at 1,443,000, which is 1.57 percent of the 92,098,000 population of the country.
    "The documented summary of issued ID cards by NCDA shows an issuance of 348,766 which is only 0.38 percent of the country's total population," she said.
    At this number, Reyes-Zubiaga said notice should be given to the fact that not all of these PWD ID cardholders have the purchasing power to consume goods and services that entitle VAT exemption.
    "Unless a concrete study on the amount of expenditure of PWDs and the amount of revenue which the government will lose be presented, the NCDA firmly supports that this bill be passed into law," Reyes-Zubiaga stressed.
    Meanwhile, on the susceptibility to abuse issue, she said proper guidelines are set forth in the NCDA Administrative Order No. 001 Rule IV which requires medical certificate from a licensed private or government physician as part of the documents to be submitted for the issuance of ID cards.
    She cited the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA), Philippine National Railways Office, Civil Aeronautics Board and Metrostar Express had issued appropriate guidelines for discount in transportation.
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