Who qualifies for the PWD ID?

Many of those who have disabilities have yet to claim their PWD ID and this article is for those who do not know if they qualify for the PWD ID and be able to claim the benefits and privileges that go with it.

According to Dr. Myla Rostrata of the Department of Health in Region 3, there are seven categories that classify the ID applicants These categories provide the basis for the granting of the IDs. These categories are:

Visual impairment – as far as we in PWDPhil know, there is no set grade that is considered to be the threshold that separates the disabled from the non-disabled. However, DOH specialists in the PDAO (persons with disabilities affairs office) in your town or city hall have a set protocol for determining who is visually impaired and who can qualify for a PWD ID based on visual acuity, or the lack of it. If the applicant’s eyes are discernible to be blind, then the applicant need not bring a clinical abstract to prove the disability, just bring your government-issued ID.

Hearing loss – anyone who cannot hear is considered to be disabled. However, there are various degrees of hearing impairment depending on the cause of the hearing loss. If you think that you are beginning to lose your hearing, it is best to try to have it treated right away. There are many occupations the depend on one’s ability to hear. If the applicant’s inability to hear is apparent, then there is no need to bring a clinical abstract to the PDAO when applying for the PWD ID.

Orthopedic disability – this category includes all those who have had amputations done to any of the extremities. This also includes those who have stunted growth because of dwarfism, a medical condition where the patient’s height and extremities did not grow to full mature size.

Learning disability – for students who cannot adjust to mainstream regular classes, they will need to go through the special education class program found in every public school. A learning disability is something that hampers or interferes with a student’s ability to learn basic concepts in math and science, knowledge that will help the student cope with everyday life. Without a basic education, the student will be unable to buy groceries, pay bills, earn a living or do any activity that requires critical thinking and stock knowledge.

Psychosocial disability – this is a category that includes those who have psychological and social problems that can leave them the sufferer unable to do what he/she normally does. These disabilities are not apparent and may not be easy to understand or to explain to health center workers who do not have a science background, thus the need for a clinical abstract to present to the PDAO, health center or DSWD regional office workers. Normally there are medical professionals who assess the application for PWD IDs, though some of them are not regularly available.

Chronic illness – There are illnesses that may not inherently lead to a disability but have been known to cause disability when a complication sets in. One such case is diabetes. Inherently diabetes does not cause disability. However, the inability to process sugar in your body may lead to complications such as diabetic retinopathy which could lead to blindness, sepsis which could lead to gangrene and later, amputation, or heart problems which could lead to a stroke. Again, some chronic illnesses are not apparent and will need a clinical abstract before a PWD ID is granted.

Mental disability – Sufferers of mental illness are automatically considered to be disabled and are sometimes automatically granted a PWD ID, as some mental illnesses can be apparent. Those with mental disabilities will usually need medical attention, constant supervision and assisted living arrangements as they are mostly unable to take care of themselves. Included in this category are children with Down syndrome, bi-polar disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia. Sufferers of this category will need a medical/clinical abstract prior to the issuance of a PWD ID

Those who apply for PWD IDs must also remind their doctors or medical professionals that any information about the state or the nature of their disability must be handled with utmost confidentiality. A Pinoy with disability has the right not to divulge any medical or health-related information about themselves. As the non-disabled people have the right not be harassed for their medical informatio, PWDs should also be allowed to exercise the same right.

Defrauding the SSS: Why must we be vigilant?

Stealing from the Social Security System fund is both immoral and illegal. We in the PWD community abhor acts by non-disabled people that maligned and conspire to defraud what is a very sacred fund religiously maintained by millions of hard-working Filipinos. More than 6 out of 10 people in the Philippine maintain contributions to the SSS fund and among those contribute, a large 80% do so without a choice as it is automatically deducted from their salaries. Continue reading

The PWDPhil Hour: Sunday Edition

The radio show PWDPhil Hour now has a Sunday Edition! We have reformatted the show to give way to the more serious issues that beset the PWD community. What to expect from the Sunday edition? See what we have in store for you:

  1. Oct 29, 2017 – NDRRMC’s Mina Marasigan is going to tell us about what her agency’s protocols are regarding the evacuation of PWDs, senior citizens and the infirm during times of disasters such as storm surges and earthquakes.
  2. Nov 5, 2017 – PAL’s Cielo Villaluna will tell us about PAL’s special privileges and discounts for the traveler with special needs. She will also explain why some fares have discounts and why some fares don’t.
  3. Nov 12, 2017 – DOT Assec Ricky Alegre will tell PWDs where to visit in the Philippines that is PWD-friendly and wheelchair-friendly.

The PWDPhil Hour: Sunday Edition will be co anchored by Beck Cortez, the Corporate Treasurer of the Organization for Pinoys with Disabilities Inc. which is the NGO behind this radio show.

It will be a good Sunday Edition for our community as we strive to discuss topics that will give you important information. You can also hear us livestreaming on the Internet and via PBS rAPP on your mobile phone.

The Filipino attitude towards Autism Spectrum Disorder

Our radio show “the PWDPhil Hour” has had several guests and calls from listeners, many of them sharing their experiences through our segment #myPWDstory which is also available to them online through our Facebook page (http://facebook.com/PWDPhil)

One of the most eye-opening incidents on the show was when we were airing yesterday (Sept 24, 2017), one of our texters asked the question “… ang taong nasiraan ng ulo aksep po ba yan sa PWD autism din po ba yan…?” To me this question raised two points: One, is that the general attitude about mental disorders, the average Filipino will just chalk it up to “sira ulo” and all the other negative stereotypes that go with the label.

And two, that mental disorders are not considered as a medical condition by the average Filipino. Many Pinoys believe that mental disorders are conditions that the sufferers can just wake up one Jday and snap out of it. It is this belief that make the life of mental disorder sufferers and people with autism very difficult and almost impossible to endure.

Opportunities for school and work often available to non-disabled children are practically non-existent for children with autism. Most of the time they are left to the care of institutions, individuals and relatives, oftentimes considered a burden to both the state and the primary caretakers. We at the Organization for Pinoys with Disabilities Inc. do not believe this. Children with autism deserve treatment and understanding because they are, above all, children too, autism or not.

Filipinos must realize that “crazy people” are not that way by choice. This is the same with sufferers of autism. It is not something they have chosen to become or a result of bad parenting. It may be genetic but it may also be negligence on the part of the mother during her pregnancy. Those who have been known to have been heavily drinking, smoking or using recreational drugs during pregnancy are said to have offspring suffering from autism, cerebral palsy and other birth-borne conditions. During one of our radio shows, a gynecologist named Dr. Rebecca Singson reiterated the need for pregnant mothers to watch what they eat and stick to organic food, consciously avoiding processed food like hotdogs, cakes and the like as these can trigger a plethora of medical conditions that might adversely affect both mother and child.

Please do tune in to our radio program “the PWDPhil Hour” for more information on how you can help prevent such conditions for your child. If you are already the caregiver of a person with disabilities, do tune in and join the conversation so we can get you the help you need by guesting doctors, audiologists, psychiatrists and even developmental pediatricians. The PWDPhil Hour airs every Saturday and Sunday. 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm over DZRB 738 KHz AM Radyo Pilipinas 1.