ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap urged Congress to investigate the sale of identification cards for a person with disabilities (PWDs) to “unethical” individuals who want to enjoy discounts and privileges reserved for PWDs.
In a news forum, Yap said he filed House Resolution 45 after receiving reports of persons faking their disabilities to get a PWD ID, as well as fixers offering the ID for sale to interested parties.
He said those who fake their disabilities or those who buy the IDs from fixers are mostly moneyed individuals.
The lawmaker said he called for the investigation after personally encountering the practice while he was dining at a restaurant in Manila.
Yap said he saw a family of six, with the four children, all teenagers, each showing a PWD ID upon paying the bill, even though they do not seem to have any disabilities.
Suspecting fraud, the lawmaker said that he asked someone who does not have any disability but has money to get a PWD ID.
When the person managed to obtain the ID, he enlisted the help of 15 other individuals to get their own PWD IDs in different parts of Metro Manila, which they also obtained.
He showed to media the PWD IDs that were obtained by the individuals, including the booklets that go with the issuance of the ID.
“Itong fake PWD ID kumakalat na ito, nilalako na ito (The fake PWD ID is becoming widespread, it is already being sold),” Yap said.
He said based on reports he gathered, the price of fake PWD IDs ranges between PHP1,000 to PHP3,000.
He has also received reports that the fake PWD IDs are used to book airline tickets, both for international and domestic flights.
“Kung wala tayong gagawin na aksyon, di ba iyong polio nga kumakalat nagkakaroon ng outbreak, magkakaroon na rin po ng outbreak nito (fake PWD IDs) kasi nilalako na ho. Kung sino-sino ang nakakapaglako (If we do not act, like polio, there will soon be an outbreak on this because it is already being sold. It is already being sold and bought by anybody),” Yap said.
Besides urging Congress to look into the issue, he also called on municipal and city mayors to look into these cases as huge amounts of money are being drained from their coffers due to the illegal practice.
Yap even called on restaurant owners and their crew to confront suspicious-looking individuals who have PWD IDs.
He asked them to take photos of these individuals and post them on social media so that others will be discouraged to do the same practice.
“Kailangan natin ng shame campaign. Ang mga gumagawa nito may pera. Mahihiya ho sila kung tayo ilalabas natin ito, ikakalat natin ito (We need a shame campaign. Those who do this have money. They will be ashamed if we post and share this),” Yap said.
“Maliwanag na pagnanakaw na sa gobyerno ito. Hindi katanggap-tanggap ito. Gagamit kayo ng pekeng PWD, pepekein niyo yung isang libo, yung tunay na PWD hindi makakuha, hirap na hirap sa requirements (This is a clear case of defrauding the government. This is unacceptable. You use a fake PWD ID for one thousand pesos, yet a true PWD cannot obtain one because of difficulties in getting the requirements),” he added. (PNA)