Statement of the Commission on Human Rights in support of the House Bill 8440 seeking the lifetime validity of IDs issued to persons with permanent disability

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights in support of the House Bill 8440 seeking the lifetime validity of IDs issued to persons with permanent disability

The Commission on Human Rights strongly supports House Bill 8440 which aims to amend Republic Act 7277, otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, and its provisions to grant a lifetime validity to identification (ID) cards issued to persons with permanent disability. We commend the efforts to implement an inclusive policy that ensures all PWDs of their security in terms of their identity and safety, among others.

The Magna Carta for Disabled Persons states that “persons with a disability shall be entitled to… an identification card… [and a] passport” which shall be valid for five (5) years upon the issued date, as verified by the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) Administrative Order No. 001. In order to renew their means of identification, they are required to submit multiple requirements—including, but not limited to application form, appropriate documentation confirming one’s medical condition, and payment for the renewal fee.

We acknowledge that the five-year period is necessary to update the status and review the benefits a PWD shall receive, particularly those who have temporary disabilities. However, such a procedure must be re-evaluated for those who have permanent disabilities, such as those with total physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairments, among others. Going through a lengthy process to renew one’s PWD ID may prove to be troublesome for the latter group considering their unique situation and health conditions.

Granting a lifetime ID card to persons with permanent disability is an official recognition and validation of the unique needs and situation of this sector. It reduces administrative burdens while also making it easy for the sector to consistently access services and entitlements that meet their needs without disruption, especially during emergency and crisis situations. Ultimately, this move provides protection to the civil and legal rights of those with permanent disabilities. It serves as a tool to assert their rights under the law and helps ensure equal treatment, non-discrimination, and consistent accessibility in different areas of their life.

CHR is hopeful that HB 8440 will swiftly progress in both chambers of Congress. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) affirms that all individuals must be able to live out their human rights without being subjected to discrimination on the basis of their disability. We must continue to make forward steps and propose inclusive policies that truly consider the needs of disadvantaged persons, such as persons with permanent disabilities, to foster conditions that help them achieve a dignified and improved quality of life. ###