Reminder to seniors: Discounts total 32% | Inquirer News
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Reminder to seniors: Discounts total 32%

/ 05:38 AM January 26, 2024

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Senior citizens should demand a 32-percent discount when buying food and other basic needs to fully avail themselves of the benefits of Republic Act No. 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act, a party list lawmaker representing their sector said on Thursday.

United Senior Citizens Rep. Milagros Magsaysay confirmed the practice of many business establishments that make it difficult for the law’s beneficiaries to enjoy their privileges.



“Business establishments should be aware of this privilege to seniors and honor it because it is law. They may not know it, but this is what the law seeks to enforce: 12 percent as exemption from [value-added tax, or VAT] and the 20-percent discount,” Magsaysay said.


Still, some establishments usually use a computation that ultimately deprives seniors of about 2 percent of the mandated discount, she said.

“So what we are telling the businesses is to just peg the discount at 32 percent, so that seniors would not have to make computations. Not all seniors are good with numbers,” Magsaysay said.

Penalties pushed

RA 9994 grants citizens age 60 and above a 20-percent discount and exemption from VAT on the purchase of goods and services for their “exclusive use and enjoyment.”

Magsaysay said the House committee on ways and means, which has launched an investigation into reported violations of RA 9994, is set to push for the imposition of penalties against erring businesses.

Under the law, she stressed, seniors are entitled to 20-percent discount for services at hotels, restaurants, spas, beauty and massage parlors, domestic travels, and concerts.

The lawmaker also called on the government to consider increasing the social pension for seniors, which was recently doubled from P500 to P1,000 a month.


“The P500 increase was really a welcome development because indeed, what can you buy with P500? But we hope the government will consider increasing it even further,” Magsaysay said. —Melvin Gascon

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TAGS: 12% VAT, senior citizens’ discount

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