PWD motorists could soon enjoy cheaper toll fees thanks to H.B. 5275

Motorists who are persons with disabilities (PWDs) may soon benefit from a new bill that mandates they get more affordable toll fees on all expressways in the country. This was revealed by Quezon City Representative Marvin Rillo during the eve of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which aims to promote the rights and welfare of individuals with long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairments.

Under House Bill No. 5275 authored by Rillo, PWDs get a 20% discount on all toll road fees that are paid via RFID or similar systems. Under this measure, a motor vehicle registered in the name of the PWD must submit a copy of his/her PWD ID card to the tollway operator when applying for an RFID tag to avail of the said 20% discount.

In order to actually enforce the discount, the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) will be the one to issue the implementing rules and regulations (IRRs), as well as enforce the 20% discount for PWD motorists.

“Disability is considered on a larger scale, not just in the Philippines but also in the world, as a human right issue especially when the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) comes into force,” said Rillo.

Currently, PWDs can already avail of a 20% discount on public transport fares including train tickets. Should H.B. 5275 be approved, PWD drivers will be able to enjoy more affordable toll rates via RFID.

But with the aforementioned bill still pending with the Committee on Persons With Disabilities since November 7, 2022, it might take a while before H.B. 5275 gets the final verdict from Congress.

There’s also the matter of the Senate making its own version of H.B. 5275 which once approved, will have to go through the Bicameral Conference Committee to iron out the differences between the Senate and Congress versions.