Senior citizens only need gov’t ID to avail of discount privileges

By , on March 21, 2014


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MANILA, Philippines—Just present any government-issued ID and senior citizens can already avail of privileges listed in the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, or Republic Act No. 9994.

This was clarified by Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman on Friday, following complaints that establishments failed to grant discount privileges to Filipinos aged 60 and above due to the nonpresentation of a senior citizen ID, issued by the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (Osca).

As per Republic Act No. 9994, senior citizens can avail of 20-percent discount on medicines, transportation fare and services of hotels and restaurants.

Government-issued identification documents that they can present include driver’s license, voter’s ID, Social Security System (SSS) or Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) ID, Professional Regulation Commission card or postal ID.

According to a United Nations study, there were some 5.905 million senior citizens in the country in 2012, possibly soaring to 23.633 million in 2050.

Benefits

Under the law, senior citizens shall be entitled to the following:

– Twenty-percent discount and exemption from the value-added tax, if applicable, on the sale of goods and services.

– Exemption from the payment of individual income taxes of those considered minimum wage earners in accordance with Republic Act No. 9504.

– Minimum discount of five percent on water and electricity, provided that the individual meters for the utilities are in the name of the senior citizen of the household and that the monthly consumption does not exceed 100 kilowatts per hour and 30 cubic meters of water.

– Exemption from training fees for socioeconomic programs.

– Free medical and dental services, diagnostic and laboratory fees, such as X-rays, computerized tomography scans and blood tests, in all government facilities, subject to the guidelines to be issued by the Department of Health (DOH) in coordination with the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.

– Free vaccination by the DOH against the influenza virus and pneumococcal disease for indigent patients.

– Educational assistance to senior citizens for post-secondary, tertiary, post-tertiary, vocational and technical education, as well as short-term courses for retooling to qualified senior citizens. These include support for books, learning materials and uniform allowances to the extent feasible, provided that senior citizens meet minimum admission requirements.

– Benefits and privileges given by the GSIS, SSS and Home Development Mutual (Pag-Ibig) Fund, as the case may be, as enjoyed by those in actual service.

– Retirement benefits of retirees shall be regularly reviewed to ensure their continuing responsiveness and sustainability, and, to the extent practicable and feasible, shall be upgraded to be at par with the current scale enjoyed by those in actual service.

– Discounts in special programs on the purchase of basic commodities, subject to the guidelines to be issued by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture.

– Provision of express lanes for senior citizens in all commercial and government establishments.

– Death benefit assistance of at least P2,000 to be given to the nearest surviving relative of a deceased senior citizen.