Enforcing discount for seniors not our job, says DTI | Inquirer News

Enforcing discount for seniors not our job, says DTI

/ 05:05 AM January 09, 2024

There are enough supplies of Noche Buena products this holiday season, according to a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) official on Wednesday. 

A consumer does the grocery shopping at a local grocery store in this file photo taken in October 2023. (File photo by  MARIANNE BERMUDEZ / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philipines — After being accused by some sectors of failing to go after violators, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) clarified on Monday that making sure that establishments apply the 20 percent discount for senior citizens was not part of its mandate.

Trade Assistant Secretary Amanda Nograles, the DTI’s Consumer Protection Group spokesperson, told reporters that the task belonged to the Office of the Senior Citizen Affairs, which was under the supervision of local governments, and the National Commission of Senior Citizens, under the Office of the President.


“The role of the DTI concerning senior citizens’ discounts will be on the five percent special discount for basic necessities and prime commodities or BNPC, if senior citizens are buying from supermarkets and groceries,” Nograles said.


Under Republic Act No. 9994, otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, Filipinos aged 60 and above are entitled to a 20 percent discount and exempted from the value-added tax on selected goods and services that are for their exclusive use.

According to Nograles, the DTI continues to accept and receive complaints about establishments that ignore RA 9994 under its “no-wrong-door policy” and then refers these cases to relevant agencies.

She reported that last year, they received 136 such complaints although most of the cases did not fall under the DTI’s mandate.

Asked whether the senior citizen discounts was applicable to goods and services under a promotional sale, Nograles said that they could pick only one.

“The senior citizen has the right to choose what is favorable to them—the 20 percent or the promotional sale. The supermarket cannot impose its option on what is best for the senior,” she added. Earlier, political analyst Ronaldo Llamas, also an adviser to the late President Benigno Aquino III, criticized the DTI over numerous cases of establishments that he claimed refused to honor the 20 percent discount for seniors.

“The DTI should be [at] the front line. These are consumer issues. And it seems like they are not doing anything. This is a small but widespread concern for seniors,” Llamas said in an online interview.

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TAGS: Department of Trade and Industry, National Commission of Senior Citizens, senior citizen discount

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