As a person with mental health issues here in the Philippines, we all know that we lack not only support and understanding but enough mental health facilities and services. That’s why the majority of us are not getting the treatment they need because they choose to stay silent about their suffering. The cost of psychotherapies, checkups on psychiatric clinics, medicines and more of what we need aren’t cheap. But don’t ever think that medication and therapy are only for the rich.

I think to have an ID like this is a really great thing. Though of course it’s something we wouldn’t want to have, I mean who wants to have mental health problems that affects your daily lives most of your life? No one.

It’s just that, there’s nothing we could do with the diagnosis, but to help ourselves get better. And things like this PWD ID for people with mental illness makes it a bit easier.

I know several people with the same condition who applied for this ID, and they said that it’s easy to get one. And that they actually saved a lot.

So, here’s how to have one.

First, who are qualified to apply for a PWD ID?

This was the first question I had in my mind when I first thought about it. It’s important of course to know who are the PWDs before stepping into the office to apply.

Here are the seven categories which are qualified, according to Department of Health: Visual disability, Orthopedic (Musculoskeletal) disability, Learning disability, Hearing disability, Speech Impairment, Psychosocial disability, and Mental disability.

When I first thought about applying for this ID, aside from some information I read, I had no real idea how to get one. So, I went directly at our city’s PWD Office. I was told to write some information such as name, address, contact number on a record book. After that I told them I why I was there and they gave me an application form with a list of requirements.

Here are the requirements:

  • Here is the application form or you can get one from PWD Office  
  • Medical Certificate/ Clinical Abstract from a licensed either private or government medical professional
  • Two 1×1 picture
  • Barangay Certificate of Residency
  • Voter’s ID, voter’s Certification, or any government-issued ID

About the Medical Certificate, it should be from a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist indicating that you have a mental illness.

One more thing, if you’re still not a registered voter, do not worry you can still apply. You can bring one of your parent’s voter’s id/certification.

Here’s how to Apply:

                The process is easy, I went there two times with a different person in charge at my second visit. They both told me this after giving the form:

  • Fill up the application form and attach your 1×1 photo.
  • Bring all the requirements I have mentioned above.
  • Submit your form and requirements to the office. They will then guide you through verification to issuance.

Here’s where to Apply:

                Though I only tried going to PWD Affairs Office of the city hall, these are other offices where you can inquire and apply.

  • City/ Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO/ MWSDO)
  • PWD Affairs Office of your City Hall
  • City/ Municipal Health Office
  • Office of the Mayor
  • Office of the Barangay Captain

Why should you apply for a PWD ID for mental illness? Here’s why:

These are some of the benefits of having a PWD ID according to Republic Act No. 9442 An Act Amending Republic Act No. 7277 Known as the “Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, and for other purposes” 

(a) At least twenty percent (20%) discount from all establishments relative to the utilization of all services in hotels and similar lodging establishments; restaurants and recreation centers for the exclusive use or enjoyment of persons with disability;

(b) A minimum of twenty percent (20%) discount on admission fees charged by theaters, cinema houses, concert halls, circuses, carnivals and other similar places of culture, leisure and amusement for the exclusive use of enjoyment of persons with disability;

(c) At least twenty percent (20%) discount for the purchase of medicines in all drugstores for the exclusive use or enjoyment of persons with disability;

Here is the complete list from Department of Health.

As I’ve been saying, this PWD ID for mental illness is a significant assistance. The only dismay I experienced with this application was the time I told the assistant that I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and he seemed unconvinced. I guess it’s because I looked so well.

It’s just upsetting that most in the society see people with mental illness as the one who cannot think properly and decide for themselves, one who cannot stand straight and face the world with courage and intelligence, or one who cannot speak the rights and truths. That’s the stigma we should break.

Please think that you may be classified as a person with disability, but do not ever think that that will disable you from reaching all your goals.

Help is for everyone.

Check these out: Mental Health Resources in the Philippines

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