The Office of Senior Citizens’ Affairs (OSCA) here is reminding the stores and other business establishments to grant senior citizens the appropriate discounts in goods and services listed under the law.
In an interview, Rodrigo Cinco, OSCA Tacloban head, said the office regularly holds consultation meetings with the business sector to remind them of the policies of the Republic Act (RA) 9994.
“We conduct this twice a year and we notice several members of the business sector ignoring our invitation,” Cinco said.
The RA 9994 or the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010,” entitles senior citizens to a 20-percent discount and value-added tax (VAT) exemption in medical-related services, domestic transportation, hotels, restaurants, recreational centers, places of leisure, and funeral services.
In addition, a joint administrative order (AO No. 17-02) by the Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, and Department of Trade and Industry entitles senior citizens to a 5-percent discount on the purchase of basic necessities and prime commodities.
The discount can be availed in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience, and mini-convenience stores and shops, excluding stalls in food courts, food carts, food vendors, and “sari-sari” stores with a capitalization of less than PHP100,000, public and private wet markets, “talipapa,” and cooperative stores.
To avail the discounts, the beneficiary shall present valid and original OSCA-issued senior citizens’ identification cards of the place where the cardholder resides. Under the law, the card shall be honored nationwide.
Cinco said the office has received some complaints and has noted some establishments, however, he reminded the public to formally file a complaint with evidence such as the receipt of purchase so they can execute an affidavit and be properly assisted to the city legal office.
A fine of PHP50,000 to PHP100,000 and imprisonment of two to six years will be imposed on those who refuse to honor the senior citizen discount.
Nevertheless, the senior citizens are reminded that the purchase in basic necessities and prime commodities listed under AO No. 17-02 shall not exceed the amount of PHP1,300 per calendar week without carryover of the said amount. (PNA)