QC councilor pushes VAT exemptions for elderly’s food, mineral supplements

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MANILA, Philippines — A Quezon City councilor has proposed further amending the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 to include food and mineral supplements among the VAT-exempt items which the elderly can purchase at 20 percent less.

Karl Edgar Castelo of the fifth district earlier asked other city councilors to support his resolution, which urged Congress to widen the law’s coverage to include the two items.

He pointed out that one of the most important benefits of people aged 60 and above under the Senior Citizens Act was the 20-percent discount and 12-percent VAT exemption they enjoyed on medicine, goods and services from all establishments.

Based on data gathered by the Quezon City Office for Senior Citizens Affairs, there were 332,358 elderly residents, accounting for over 10 percent of the city’s total population of some 3.1 million people.

Castelo said that “although medicines are covered under the law, food and mineral supplements are not covered notwithstanding the fact that these supplements are very important for the dietary needs and appetite of senior citizens in order to maintain their good health.”

He added that it was necessary for Congress to make further amendments on the existing law to include the two items.

Castelo’s resolution is being reviewed by the city council’s committees on laws, rules and internal government, and on senior citizens’ affairs and people with special challenges.

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