State measures which intend to address needs of 15% of its citizens who have disabilities include the PWD Card (for 20% discounts on medicines, medical services, etc. ) and Disability Pensions from the Government Insurance Service System (GSIS). However, these are largely limited and ineffective because the discounts can only be availed of by non-poor PWDs (who are the only ones who can afford to buy medicine, go to the hospital, or eat in a restaurant in the first place), while GSIS Benefits are only for government employees.
Retirement programs rely solely on contributions from employment during the lifetime of a person which is not available to people with disabilities that have not had the opportunity to work because of disability-based discrimination or the lack of work-related disability accommodation. The main poverty-alleviation program of the government is the CCT. Over 90% of the national budget for the Department of Social Welfare is for the CCT. It addresses MDGs on maternal / infant mortality, health and education. It documents (but does not target) disability in Household Assessments which identify the poor.
Furthermore, the Philippine CCT does not utilize disability in the Proxy Means Test in determining who the poor are. Thus, the presence of a PWD in a household is given little consideration. Although NHTS-PR identified 305,729 households with members with disabilities, not all of them benefits from the CCT program. In a NCR survey conducted by PIDS in 2008, poverty incidence among households with a person with disability is 40%. This is considerably high compared to the 7. 1% (the lowest among 17 regions) poverty incidence in the general population.
The poverty incidence rate is higher in other regions not as developed as the NCR. The mainstream poverty-alleviation programs will always have households with a person with disability as beneficiaries because of the fact that they are poor. Success of these programs is very limited and temporary in the sector. Most of these programs did not consider the additional disability-related expenses (especially for those with extensive disabilities) which are over and above the usual expenditures in a household where no member has a disability.
Common disability-related expenses are medicines, assistive devices and maintenance (i. e. wheelchair), medical supplies (i. e. urine bag, catheter), diaper and others. Even if the person with disability has a source of income (job), a big chunk of the earning goes to the disability-related expenses. The table below illustrates this. Person w/o disability Blind Deaf Wheelchair user Wheelchair user with PA Transportation P56-P78 P56-P156 P56-P78 P400 P400 Meals P50 P50 P50 P50 P50 Employment related deductions Cost of specialized support such as PA, Sign Language Interpreter none.
Depends P 426. 00 (P53. 25/hour) Depends (sign language interpreter costs P312. 50/hr) None P426. 00 (P53. 25/hr) In cases where a family member has an extensive disability, another person is required to be present. This is usually a parent, a sibling or a child. If they belong to the working age group, it translates to one earning-capacity not utilized and income for the household not realized. This unrealized income plus the additional disability-related expenses compounds the financial and economic situation of a household with a person with disability.
A poor household with a person with disability given the same amount of financial assistance as part of the mainstream program (e. g. 4Ps) given to a household with no person with disability will not be able to get out of poverty. Aside from the lack of necessary social support services and poor compliance to existing laws (i. e. Accessibility Law) that will greatly impact the social inclusion of persons with disabilities, the conditions of certain programs will work against the realization of the envisioned goal if the financial situation of affected households is not considered.
A program giving strong consideration to this is necessary. The Government has legal, social and economic responsibilities to take care of the people. The bigger picture will show that having a disability does not affect only the person but also the family. Addressing the needs of the sector of persons with disabilities will arrest the cycle of disability and poverty. This will result to a lesser economic burden for the government of the affected sector of the population.
Disability pension is supplemental to the mainstream poverty-alleviation programs. This will target the additional disability-related expenses of the individual. This will give purchasing power for products and services that will result to equalization of opportunity and social inclusion of persons with disabilities. Proposed budget: No. of beneficiaries (HH identified by NHTS-PR) Amount of cash grant Frequency Total 305,729 500. 00 12 (months) 1,834,374,000.