Press Release
April 21, 2019

Nancy: Banning PWDs with service dogs in malls, PUVs should be unlawful

Banning persons with disability (PWDs) with guide animals in malls, public transport systems and other public or private establishments should be considered an act of discrimination and therefore unlawful in the country.

An act of discrimination is punishable under the existing law, RA 7277, otherwise known as the "Magna Carta for Disabled Persons."

Sen. Nancy Binay initiated the filing of Senate Bill No. 1674 after learning that a shopping mall barred the entry a PWD accompanied by a certified assistance dog a few years ago.

Binay took note of the said report as the mall management even requested the police to bodily drag the PWD, a foreigner, who protested the mall policy.

The management argued that there was still a risk to the safety of other mall patrons even if the foreigner's guide dog was not known to belong to vicious or aggressive breed.

"The mall incident is not isolated. It has come to our attention that different establishments, public or private, have treated PWDs with guide animals differently," Binay said.

In the wake of the said incident, the senator deemed it necessary to amend the law to accommodate PWDs needing special assistance of guide animals.

Sen. Leila de Lima has signified her intention to be made co-author of the measure

Under the measure, Binay said PWDs should not only be allowed access in public and private buildings and establishments and such other places mentioned in Batas Pambansa Bilang 344 (Accessibility Law) but also be permitted to be accompanied by their guide animals.

Binay also sought to amend Section 27 of RA 7277, allowing PWDs and guide animals access to public transport facilities.

An unreasonable denial of access to guide animals of PWDs to public transport facilities shall be considered as an act of discrimination, she said. Denying a person with disability access or use of public accommodations on the ground that he is accompanied by a guide animal shall also constitute as an act of discrimination, the senator added.

The Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, since its enactment in 1999, has undergone several changes to continue safeguarding the rights and interests of PWDs and address problems encountered in its implementation.

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