How we applied for Dylan's Person with Disability (PWD) ID

17 July 2017

The Person with Disability (PWD) ID basically serves as the PWD's passport to benefits and privileges.  These benefits include discounts in theaters, hotels, fast food establishments, groceries, medicines, diagnostic procedures, dental services and domestic ticket fares; educational assistance; access to express lanes and even tax exemptions for people who care for and are living with PWD's.

Dylan has been diagnosed a long time ago but we never really pursued getting one.  It was mostly because I thought that, as with most governmental procedures, it would just be tedious and time-consuming.

But, now, knowing all these benefits that he should be entitled to, and hearing from other parents how easy it was for them to get their kids' their PWD IDs, well I thought I should give it a shot.  Here's our story.

Before Dylan started his SPED schooling, I already planned on getting him his PWD ID.  The teachers whom I talked with at the school mentioned some of the benefits that were being offered to holders of PWD IDs and encouraged me to file for one for Dylan.  At that point, I searched the net on how I should go about it and one article that I read (I now forgot where I read it) listed such a tedious and roundabout procedure that it discouraged me, to be honest.  I was thinking, just to get an ID, I have to go through this whole rigmarole?? No way.

I did visit our Barangay Hall (it's like our local government office) because the article mentioned that I can file an application form with them.  But, they said they don't do that.  I should go to the City Hall which made me roll my eyes (hehe)  So I shoved that idea down the drain ;)

But when Dylan entered school and I was able to talk with my co-parents, I found out that the process was actually simpler than what I read about.  In fact, one of them mentioned that I needn't go to the City Hall, there was a Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) district office near where we lived and I should just go there.  So, that got me interested!

So about a week after Dylan's classes started, I went to the DSWD office to file for a PWD ID.  I prepared the following requirements beforehand:

  • 2 or more 1x1 ID pictures
  • a clinical abstract of Dylan's Learning Disability (we got this from his doctor)
  • a barangay certificate attesting that we belong to the Manila District (or from the barangay that DSWD Office handles)

When I got there, I was told to come back because the one in charge of PWD's was not there and that unfortunately, they no longer have PWD IDs at the moment. They gave me a phone number to call to check whether they already have the ID's in store.  I followed-up with them for 3 weeks.  In those weeks, they gave me an application form to fill out, told me to photocopy it just in case I make a mistake.

After those weeks, I kind of forgot about filing the ID.  I was discouraged because well, bureaucracy in action.  Luckily enough, I met a father at Dylan's school while we were all waiting for their classes to be over.  It turned out he was the husband of one of the Supervisors at the DSWD branch that I was going to.  I kinda mentioned that I was having trouble getting Dylan his PWD ID.  He promised to mention it to his wife.

Fast forward to last week.  It's now like a month after I first went to the DSWD office.  The father mentioned that the office now had new PWD IDs and that I can file my application form. Yahoo!

Today, it was also funny that it's the opening day of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation week.  Fortuitous, right?  Dylan and I went to the DSWD Office armed with our requirements.  We talked with Ms. Julie who was very helpful and accommodating.  We didn't meet the father's wife because she was at City Hall for a seminar I think.

This is what happened.

  • We just gave Ms. Julie the requirements. 
  • She verified from our barangay hall (via a phone call) that we were indeed from said barangay.  They had cases where the applicant wasn't actually from the district so they were being careful now.
  • She got the ID from their Chief, filled out the necessary information, recorded these into a logbook.
  • I signed the logbook reflecting that I indeed received the ID and the Purchase booklet (where all transactions with the ID will be recorded).
  • She mentioned that the ID is good for the next three years.  
And that was it.  It took all of 15 minutes, maybe even less because she had to try our barangay hall a couple of times since she got a busy tone while calling.

We just ran into bad timing when we applied.  I'm sure this isn't the case all the time (at least I hope so).  For all you parents and caregivers, the process is simple.  It's fast as long as you have all the requirements.  

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