2 restaurants sued over senior citizen discountBy Tetch Torres-Tupas
MANILA, Philippines—Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal on Thursday filed criminal complaint against owner-operator of two restaurants for violation of Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).
In his complaint filed with the City Prosecutor of Pasay City and Las Piñas, Macalintal, through his lawyer Antonio Carlos Bautista filed the complaint against operators of Café Mediterranean in Resorts World in Pasay City and Black Canyon Coffee inside a mall in Las Piñas.
The complaint stemmed on July 4 and 5 when Macalintal and his wife dined at the said restaurants. Since they do not have their Senior Citizens Card, Macalintal and his wife presented their drivers licenses as proof of that they are senior citizens to avail of the 20 percent special discounts and VAT exemption.
However, both restaurants refused to give them the discount and exemption. Both restaurants insisted that it is their policy that only senior citizens holding cards issued by the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) are honored to avail themselves of the privilege.
“I informed the staff of the said establishments of the provisions of RA 9994 and its IRR that any document that establishes that a person is a Filipino citizen and is at least 60 years old, like passport, driver’s license, voters ID, SSS, GSIS, and the like, could be used as proof of being a senior citizen and not only the Senior Citizens Card issued by the OSCA,” Macalintal added.
Macalintal said that “my plea fell on deaf ears and my requests for application of the senior citizen discount and VAT exemption were denied and refused in violation of the said law and its IRR. It was worse in the restaurant at SM Southmall where, with two (2) other senior citizens with us or a total of four (4) senior citizens, the said restaurant said that its policy is just to honor two (2) senior citizens per table.”
Under Paragraph (c), Article 5.5, Rule III of the IRR, Macalintal said that a driver’s license, or any government issued identification documents indicating a senior citizen’s birthdate and age such as Voter’s ID, SSS or GSIS ID may be used to avail of the benefits under the said law.
He further pointed that any person who refuses to honor the senior citizens card or violates any provision of the law and its IRR may suffer imprisonment of not less than two years and a fine of not less than P50,000 but not exceeding P100,000.
Macalintal said he filed the complaint for his fellow senior citizens whose rights are continuously being violated due to lack of concern of some establishments and obvious failure of government agencies to implement the law.