Senator Sonny Angara has lauded the signing into law of a bill exempting persons with disabilities (PWDs) from the 12-percent value added tax (VAT) on certain goods and services.
Angara, one of the authors and sponsor of the said measure, said the recently enacted law expands the benefits and privileges of PWDs and their families under the existing Magna Carta to further alleviate the plight of Filipino PWDs and promote their welfare.
The 12-percent VAT exemption under the new Republic Act 10754 would be on top of the 20-percent discount on certain goods and services that PWDs are already entitled to under the current Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.
It also grants a P25,000 annual income tax deduction to relatives, within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, who are caring for and living with a PWD.
“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa ating Pangulong Aquino, sa ating mga kasamahan sa Senado at Kongreso–sa principal author Rep. Martin Romualdez at sponsor Rep. Miro Quimbo – – na sumuporta sa pagpasa ng batas na ito na tumutugon sa hinaing at magpapagaan sa pasanin ng ating mga kababayang may kapansanan at ng kanilang pamilya,” Angara said.
Under RA 10754, PWDs will be exempted from the VAT on land transportation, domestic air and sea travels; on fees and charges for medical and dental services including diagnostic and laboratory fees, and professional fees of attending doctors in all government facilities as well as in all private hospitals and medical facilities; on cost of medicines; on funeral and burial services; on fees and charges in hotels, restaurants and recreation centers; and, on admission fees in theatres, cinema houses, concert halls, and other similar places of culture, leisure and amusement.
“Dahil ang pangangailangang medikal ng karamihan sa ating PWDs ay hindi pangkaraniwan, may kamahalan sa presyo at dapat tuloy-tuloy ang paggagamot, ang dagdag diskwento sa pamamagitan ng VAT exemption at ang kaba-wasan sa income tax ng kanilang pamilya ay magdudulot ng kaginhawaan para sa mga PWD,” the lawmaker said.
Based on the 2010 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, there were more than 1.4 million Filipino PWDs or those who are suffering from restriction or different abilities, as a result of a mental, physical or sensory impairment, to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.
Angara, chairman of the Senate ways and means committee, who also worked for the passage of a law that awards bigger cash incentives to winning athletes with disability, has called for the strict compliance with laws empowering PWDs to ensure that they are provided with opportunities that will enable them to develop their potential and become fully participative members of society.#