DILG: Senior citizens not required to register as voters to receive LGU benefits
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has recently issued a memorandum circular, which reiterates the implementation of the Republic Act (RA) 7432 or Senior Citizens Act and states that senior citizens do not need to become registered voters to get benefits from their local or city government.
Under RA 7432, as amended by RA 9257 and 9994, Filipino locals 60 years and above are entitled to a 20 percent discount on goods and services from all establishments.
They are also entitled to government assistance on employment, education, health, social services, housing programs, access to public transportation, an incentive for social care, and a social pension.
DILG’s Memorandum Circular (MC 2023-045) reiterated senior citizens’ entitlement to these benefits even when they are not registered voters. It said they only need to present proof of residency, barangay certification, and any valid government identification with an address to claim the above benefits.
Last December, senior citizens’ rights advocate lawyer Romulo Macalintal wrote to the agency, raising concern about how some LGUs deprive unregistered senior citizens of their benefits, prompting the MC issuance.
In a statement issued Friday, Macalintal said that DILG Director Anna Liza Bonagua responded to his letter by informing him that the agency has already issued the MC.
Bonagua explained that the MC states that “benefits to senior citizens given by LGUs exclusively within their jurisdiction should not limit the residency proof to voter’s registration identification only.”
Following the agency’s move, Macalintal thanked the DILG for their prompt action.
“With this very significant development, I am confident that our senior citizens will no longer find it difficult to claim their benefits from their respective LGUs,” the lawyer said.
The DILG said the MC would take effect immediately and would be distributed to all LGUs.