Romualdez seeks probe into cases of denied discounts for seniors, PWDs | Inquirer News

Romualdez seeks probe into cases of denied discounts for seniors, PWDs

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 04:13 PM January 15, 2024

speaker romualdez on senior discount

House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez (Photo from House of Representatives facebook page)

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez on Monday called for a probe into reports of establishments denying discounts to senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) under existing laws.

Romualdez sought the motu proprio investigation amid several instances of violations of Republic Act (RA) No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 and R.A. 10754 or an Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of PWDs.


“Laws granting benefits to our senior citizens and PWDs should be strictly followed and implemented. And if there are several instances of improper granting of these privileges and benefits, it becomes the common practice. So it cannot remain unchecked,” Romualdez said in a statement.


“This is what we hope to achieve in this investigation, to clarify the law and correct all their misconceptions and wrong implementation. Madaming tanong ang ating mga senior citizen at PWDs, bibigyan natin sila ng pagkakataon kapag nagsimula na ang pagdinig sa Kongreso,” he added.

(Our senior citizens and PWDs have many questions; we will give them the opportunity when the congressional hearings begin.)

Romualdez has several possible violations, such as the reported policy of a popular coffee shop chain, limiting the 20 percent discount, and exemption from the 12 percent value-added tax to only one food item and one drink per visit for seniors and PWDs.

Another incident was in Pasig City, where its Prosecutor’s Office filed two cases against two officials of a hotel for declining to grant a 20-percent discount to a senior citizen. 

They were charged with violating two senior citizen laws: Section 4 (a)(7) of Republic Act 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, and Article 116 of Republic Act 7394, or the Consumer Act of the Philippines. 

“Flagrant violations of the laws that grant benefits to our senior citizens and PWDs are trending topics on social media these past few months. It is high time that the House of Representatives reviewed the implementation of these laws and found out if business establishments are complying with every provision,” Romualdez said.


“Until our probe is completed, we urge local authorities and government agencies to step up and ensure the proper and effective implementation of discounts granted to seniors and PWDs across businesses and service providers in the country,” he added.

Romualdez also called on the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) to ensure the law is implemented.

“Napakahalaga na masiguro ng DSWD at ng NCDA na may compliance sa ating mga batas. At para naman sa ating panukalang imbestigasyon, importante ito sa performance ng ating oversight functions na siguruhin ang tamang implementasyon ng mga batas. Bahagi ito ng ating checks and balances,” Speaker Romualdez said.

(It is crucial for the DSWD and NCDA to ensure compliance with our laws. Regarding our proposed investigation, ensuring the proper implementation of laws is essential to the performance of our oversight functions. This is a vital component of our system of checks and balances.)

Romualdez also clarified that the investigation will also tackle the abuse of such benefits and privileges.

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“I believe that discounts granted to senior citizens and PWDs should not be limited in any way, for as long as they are for their use and personal consumption. Of course, we should also prevent the abuse of these benefits and privileges. We will examine all of these in our investigation,” Romualdez said.

TAGS: discount, Martin Romualdez, senior citizen

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