Senior citizens granted 20% discount, VAT exemption for vitamins, supplements
MANILA, Philippines — Senior citizens can now get a 20% discount and value-added tax (VAT) exemption for vitamins and mineral supplements, as long as it is prescribed by physicians and approved by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drugs Administration.
DOH Administrative Order 2012-0007-A, released Wednesday, amends a previous order with the inclusion of vitamins and mineral supplements in the list of discounted medicines for senior citizens.
This is pursuant to the Republic Act No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, which defines “medicines” to include “vitamins and mineral supplements,” and whose implementing rules and regulations (IRR) grant discount and VAT exemption to senior citizens.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III noted that the previous administrative order “did not provide guidelines for the grant of the 20% discount and VAT exemption on the purchase of vitamins and minerals supplements” despite the clear language of the IRR and the law.
“This amendment is, hence, being issued to clarify that the purchase of vitamins and minerals supplements of senior citizens is likewise subject to the 20% Discount and VAT exemption subject to conditions prescribed under RA No. 9994 and its IRR,” Duque wrote on the order.
The move to clarify the inclusion of vitamins and mineral supplements among discounted and VAT-exempted drugs for senior citizens was prompted by a letter sent to Duque by a senior citizens’ group last April 24, appealing to him to issue an order directing all drug stores and establishments to grant senior citizens the discount and tax exemption they are due under RA 9994.
Senior Citizens Rights advocate Romulo Macalintal on Wednesday thanked Duque for his “prompt action” on the issue.
“We believe that an earlier date of implementation of this AO is justifiable and imperative considering that for almost ten years now the SCs have been deprived of their 20% discount and VAT exemption for their much-needed vitamins and mineral supplements which they should have already been enjoying since June 18, 2010,” he said in a statement.
Duque’s action came after Macalintal has sent him a letter requesting that the health chief immediately issue an order directing all drug stores and establishments selling vitamins and mineral supplements to grant the said discount and VAT exemptions to senior citizens.
The AO signed by Duque shall be effective 30 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.
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