Updated list of PWDs sought

SOLONS want a latest and updated list of persons with disabilities (PWDs).

At yesterday’s virtual meeting of a special House committee on PWDs, the lawmakers asked concerned government agencies to provide a complete list of PWDs nationwide.

According to Bohol Rep. Edgar Chatto, the purpose is to determine if the government is providing the needs of the PWDs in this time of pandemic brought about by coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Committee chairperson Negros Occidental Rep. Ma. Lourdes Arroyo ordered the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to provide the panel with an updated list of PWDs.

Chatto lamented the use of an outdated list of PWDs in planning for programs and allocating budgets for the sector.

“It is very hard to know and quite sad that our statistics and data on PWDs is still using the 2010 census, he said.

“This is very difficult because when we continue doing our plans and programs and allocating budgets, both local and national, we should have a basis for all these programs in place,” CHatto added.

The DSWD is using the 2010 census.

The solon also stressed that outdated list of PWDs can lead to fraud, especially with the current issue of bogus and misuse of PWD identification cards.

“The reason why we have some concerns on over-issued IDs  or IDs being issued to the wrong persns is also emanating from the fact that there is no clear list of who are accredited as PWDs and who are not,” Chatto said.

Arroyo likewise asked the Department of Health to assist the DSWD in making a complete list.

Earlier, Chairman of the House committee on appropriations and ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Go Yap disclosed the proliferation of fake PWDs.

For its part,  Miramel Laxa of the DSWD said the agency is currently consolidating its data of PWDs which was halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The agency vowed to coordinate with local government units in gathering and verifying data.

Meanwhile, Dr. Napoleon Arevalo of the DOH said it can help with providing data on PWDs since the agency has a Philippine registry of PWDs.

Based on the 2010 census, over one million individuals in the country are PWDs. The Region of Calabarzon has the highest number of PWDs with 193,000 individuals, followed by Metro Manila with 167,000 recorded PWDs.