PWDs now exempted from VAT, like senior citizens

President Benigno Aquino III has recently signed into law a bill that will exempt persons with disabilities (PWDs) from the 12 per cent VAT on goods and services.

The bill, principally authored by senatorial aspirant and Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez, was signed by Aquino on March 24. Now known as Republic Act (RA) No. 10754,  its passage was welcomed by the PWD sector and by the relatives of PWDs.

Congressman Martin Romualdez with PWDs. (Image Credit: @MartinRomualdez)

The other proponents of the bill, including Senators Sonny Angara,  Bam Aquino, Nancy Binay, and Ralph Recto and Marikina congressman Miro Quimbo were also thankful that President Aquino signed the PWD bill into law.

How does the bill work in reality?

Romualdez explained that before, PWDs  get only P12 discount for every P100 worth of purchase while senior citizens  get P20 discount for the same amount of purchase. With RA No. 10754, PWDs will now also get P20 discount for every P100 worth of goods or services.

That may not seem much for some people, but for PWDs  who have special needs, that counts a lot. An average spend of P5000 worth of goods and services in a month would mean that instead of a P600 discount, PWDs will get an additional 400 discount, for a total of 1000 discount.

Aside from the VAT exemption, the new law also gives tax relief to the next of kin taking care of PWDs. Relatives up to the fourth degree of consanguinity  of affinity can have a tax deduction of P25,000 in their annual income tax.

It is estimated that there are 1.5 million Filipinos who are PWDs. representing about 1.6 per cent of the country's population.
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