Resto owner draws flak for questioning ‘able-bodied’ holders of PWD discount ID

A restaurant owner is the latest entrepreneur to be “cancelled” by netizens on Facebook after alleging that there are “able-bodied” customers who abuse discounts given to persons with disabilities (PWDs).

In a now-deleted post, Chiqui Sy-Quia Mabanta ranted against two young diners who ate at her restaurant and presented a PWD card for psychosocial disability. The ID entitled them to a 20% discount and VAT exemption for their meal.

Mabanta posted a photo of the PWD ID and blurred the personal details of its owner, accusing them of misrepresenting themselves.

“I don’t know… I somehow feel this is being abused. It’s becoming too easy to get PWD cards,” Mabanta said. “These 2 young people left in a motorcycle. They looked pretty able-bodied. Could be wrong and they could’ve been legit but the fact is, as seen on this thread, it is very easy to get one now.”

Psychosocial disability pertains to mental issues like ADHD, bipolar disorder and the likes –– which, as the name suggests, are not manifested physically.

“It doesn’t help businesses that are still trying to recover the losses from the past 2 years. I’ve been told this has become rampant since the start of this year. They get 20% off. Bummer,” added Mabanta, owner of Corner Tree Cafe in Makati.

Netizens immediately called for a boycott of her restaurant.

“It assumes that all disabled people have visible disabilities and that the manifestations of these disabilities remain constant. Newsflash, some disabilities are unseen and for disabled people, some days are better than others,” Facebook user Erick Marco Ramos said.

“Pag kulang sa kaalaman pwede namang magtanong at magresearch muna. Maling mali ang pagkakaalam nila about PWD, ang alam lang nilang PWD ay yung mga may polio at naka wheelchair,” one commenter said.

“Bakit sya nagagalit? Hindi naman bawas sa puhunan yung 20%. Mga tax yung inaalis. Unless hindi nagre-remit yung me ari ng 20% buwis sa gobyerno,” another added.

Her restaurant’s page has also been attacked by offended netizens since her original post.

Mabanta issued a public apology days later.

“I sincerely apologize for my post that offended PWDs (person with disabilities). It was not my intent, and my post was a personal observation that there appears to be non-PWDs who somehow are able to obtain PWD cards,” she said.

“I also apologize for unfairly judging (in my initial post) 2 customers who may have been legit. I should have given them the benefit of the doubt.”

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