FIRST District Rep. Paolo Duterte and some of his colleagues have pushed for a P2,000 government subsidy for parents of children with disabilities (CWDs).
In a press statement, Duterte is joined by Benguet Rep. Eric Yap, and ACT-CIS Partylist Reps. Edvic Yap and Jeffrey Soriano in calling for the swift approval of the proposal which will require parents of CWDs to get prequalified and included in the database so they can become beneficiaries.
The authors cited the study of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that showed that expenses in raising a CWD is 40% to 80% than what is spent in rasing children without disabilities.
The same study also showed that poverty rates were 50 percent higher in households with CWD members.
“This proposed measure seeks to provide the [government] support and assistance needed by children with disabilities through a provision of a monthly subsidy to their parents in order to help alleviate the challenges they continuously face amid the rising costs of living,” the authors said.
The proposal, House Bill 6743, defines a CWD as someone below 21 with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of an individual’s functions or activities. Another included definition is that it is a child with a record of an impairment or being regarded as having such an impairment.
All biological parents and court-appointed guardians of CWD as verified and certified by the DSWD and the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) are covered by the measure.
Issuance of an authentic person with disabilities (PWD) identification card is a prerequisite to qualify as a beneficiary of the subsidy.
The P2,000 monthly assistance will be released by the DSWD but will cease when the CWD reaches 21.
To collaborate in creating the CWD database shall be created and updated annually by the DSWD, NCDA, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), and the National Privacy Commission (NPC) in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to effectively plan, implement, monitor and evaluate the grant of the subsidy.
The bill sets an initial allocation of P2 billion for the first year of implementing the program.
HB 6743 also includes provisions to penalize persons found committing any fraudulent act or misrepresenting himself or herself as a parent of a CWD to be able to deceive the government in receiving the cash aid.
For first-time violators, the bill provides for a fine of not less than P25,000 but not exceeding P50,000. Subsequent violations are punishable with a fine of not less than P50,000 but not exceeding P100,000.
Any other person, corporation or organization, whether natural or juridical, found violating the provisions of the measure will be fined not less than P100,000 but not exceeding P200,000.
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