QUEZON CITY — The Quezon City government is fighting against fraudulent claims to get a Persons with Disability (PWD) identification card to ensure that assistance and support reach those who deserve it.

Mayor Joy Belmonte revealed that the city’s Persons with Disability Affairs Office (QC PDAO) has implemented rigorous verification processes to identify and eliminate individuals falsely claiming to have a disability to be included in the list of registered PWDs.

“The improper use of PWD IDs to obtain discounts, by individuals who are not legitimate PWDs is completely unacceptable. To address this issue, we have implemented an automated registration system which makes the process more efficient and secure,” Belmonte said.

The new PWD ID registration system uses the online portal QC E-Services wherein applicants must submit necessary documents as proof of their disability.

This automated process eliminated the need for in-person transactions, removing opportunities for patronage or the involvement of fixers.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of PWD ID holders in the city was about 78,000.

It has been decreased to 55,000 after the implementation of the automated system.

it has also been discovered that out of the 7,000 rejected applications, many contained counterfeit medical certificates or were submitted by individuals who did not qualify as PWDs.

Likewise, the city government is also prioritizing accessibility initiatives.

Plans are afoot to install more facilities, such as ramps on sidewalks and buildings like the City Hall, to enhance mobility for PWDs.

Private establishments are also being inspected to ensure compliance with the minimum requirements and standards mandated by Batas Pambansa Blg 344, otherwise known as the “Accessibility Law”.

Non-compliant establishments will be given warnings and penalized if necessary.

“Quezon City joins the nation in commemorating this year’s 45th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Awareness Week, and we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to inclusivity and the empowerment of our PWD community,” Belmonte said.

As part of Quezon City’s celebration of National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Awareness Week, Belmonte is encouraging PWD residents to take advantage of the city’s services designed to assist and empower them.

Among these services is the “Pangkabuhayang QC” program, which offers up to P20,000 in financial capital and comprehensive support to PWDs who aspire to start their own businesses.

Also, the “Tindahan ni Ate Joy” program has been established to prioritize solo parents, including those in the PWDs sector.

Through this, eligible individuals receive a sari-sari store package, enabling them to start their own business and establish a sustainable source of income.

The city has also launched its Social Welfare Assistance Program to Persons with Disabilities who have not yet received any form of social service assistance from the national government.

It provides a monthly stipend of P500 to be distributed every three months.

The city government is also promoting inclusivity in the workforce by offering incentives to establishments that would actively employ PWDs.

Through collaborations with businesses and organizations, Quezon City aims to create equal employment opportunities.

To enhance accessibility and empower PWDs to lead independent lives, a comprehensive program has been launched for the distribution of assistive devices.

This includes wheelchairs, hearing aids, and walking aids.

Meantime, the QC Kabahagi Center provides free rehabilitation services, including specialized therapy interventions for children with disabilities and their families.

By employing a multidisciplinary approach, the center maximizes the children’s potential and facilitates their seamless integration into society. – Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.