Applying For A PWD Card
Some PWD qualifications you probably didn't know

A tweet went around recently of a user receiving her People With Disability (PWD) Card as she was deemed eligible for such with her eyesight grade of 300+. It sparked discussion among other Twitter users about how the application went through, since many were surprised to learn that bad eyesight was grounds enough to apply as a PWD.

When people think of PWDs, the common image that comes to mind are people in wheelchairs and crutches – people who cannot walk or have lost a limb. However the term “disabled” is broader than that, there are other qualifications that can classify a person as a PWD. Here are some PWD qualifications you probably did not know about:

Poor eyesight
Like the viral tweet implied, poor eyesight is grounds enough for a person to apply for a PWD card. However, cases differ among cities, towns, and municipalities. In some areas the base eyesight grade is 300+ (such as Taytay, where the user applied for her card), while others have a base grade of 400+. Each city, town, or municipality hall has a Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office (PDAO) with licensed specialists who can determine if a person is “legally blind”, therefore making them a PWD.

Poor hearing
As with eyesight, not being able to hear clearly may be evidence of impending hearing impairment. Since many occupations rely on hearing, as well as commuting on public transport, one must check with their PDAO if their loss of hearing is indeed untreatable, and may apply for a PWD card.

Mental disability
Discussions on mental illness have been a hot topic in recent years, but it does not excuse the fact they are mental disabilities. People will mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, psychological stress, bi-polar disorder, etc. require medical attention, and having a PWD card with them will inform people that they may require assistance.

Pyschosocial disability
There are some individuals who have trouble with social interaction and have psychological problems, leaving them unable to function normally as they did before. Such cases like these are rare, therefore an appointment with the local health center, PDAO, and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office will help assess the application for a PWD card.

Orthopedic disability
Beyond the loss of an arm or leg (or both), orthopedic disabilities include dwarfism, clubfoot, absence of members since birth, and impairments caused by fractures, cerebral palsy, and bone tuberculosis. Neuromotor diseases also fall under this category, requiring individuals the use of wheelchairs, crutches, specialized equipment suited to their needs, and of course PWD cards.

Photo by Mark Balmores for Manila Bulletin

PWD Card Application
As indicated in the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons (RA 9442), people with disabilities will be provided with support and protection by being given privileges and benefits (anyone who ridicules or vilifies PWDs can and will be penalised).

Here are the following requirements a person needs if they wish to apply for a PWD card:

  • Application form (can be downloaded here)
  • Barangay certificate (to be attained at your local barangay hall)
  • Two (2) 1×1 ID pictures
  • Medical certificate and clinical abstract signed by a licensed private, government clinic, or hospital-based physician

Applicants can then submit the requirements above to the office of their mayor or barangay captain, any DSWD office, the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) or its regional counterparts, or any participating organizations partnering with the Department of Health (DoH).

PWDs receive 20% discounts on public transport fares, entertainment admission fees, domestic air/sea fares, medical/dental services, medicinal purchases, and lodging establishments. They also receive educational assistance, benefits from GSIS, SSS & PAG-IBIG, and will be provided express lanes at any government or commercial establishments. Individuals may ask any establishment if a PWD discount is applicable for a given service.

Check out our piece on two persons with disabilities who feel there is a lack of inclusivity towards their community.

DISCLAIMER: Having special benefits is not the whole purpose of being a person of disability. PWD privileges are there to assist PWDs in their daily routines. Please be respectful to persons with disabilities.


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  1. Thanks for this! Just a quick question, can you still apply for PWD ID even you’re not yet a registered on that specific municipality? Got a voter’s ID but it’s registered to my province. Haven’t updated it yet.

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