Poe bill seeks expanded power, water bill discount coverage for seniors
MANILA, Philippines — A bill aiming to expand senior citizens’ discounts on electricity and water bills and exempting them from value-added tax (VAT) for the said services has been filed at the Senate.
Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, filed Senate Bill No. 1066 or the Expanded Senior Citizens’ Act of 2022, which will amend Republic Act (RA) No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens’ Act of 2010.
“To extend full benefits to our senior citizens, this bill seeks to further amend the consumption threshold for electric and water bills in that the 5% discount shall apply to the first 150 kWh (kilowatt per hour) of electricity and the first fifty (50) cubic meters of water consumed in a household where the senior resides and the electric or water meter is registered in his or her name,” Poe said on her bill’s explanatory note.
“Additionally, they shall be exempted from VAT for these services,” she added.
Under Poe’s measure, Section 4(c) of RA 9994 will be amended to further help the elderly on their monthly power and water consumption.
Poe pointed out that RA 9994 limits the application of the 5-percent discount on water and electricity consumption to senior citizens whose usage does not exceed 100 kWh of electricity and 30 cubic meters of water.
“In other words, if a senior citizen consumes, say 100.1 kWh or 30.1 cubic meters of water, he would no longer be entitled to the 5% discount,” she said.
With this limitation, Poe pushed for the amendment “to ensure that its essence is properly captured in the language and that there is proper implementation thereof.”
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