DTI ordered to raise seniors’ grocery discount to P125 per week

DTI ordered to raise seniors’ grocery discount to P125 per week

/ 05:58 PM February 13, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Two House panels have directed the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to increase the discounts given to senior citizens’ grocery purchases from P65 per week to P125 per week.

At the hearing of the House committee on ways and means and the committee on senior citizens, Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda suggested the P125 per week figure, given that the maximum discountable amount set 20 years ago — P1,300 worth of grocery purchases per week — is now worth P2,526.

A five percent discount is given to grocery purchases made by senior citizens, but the maximum discountable amount is P1,300, generating a weekly discount worth P65.  Since five percent of P2,526 is P126.31, Salceda suggested a P125 discount per week.


“There is a direct instruction from the Speaker to really adjust already the weekly or the monthly booklet, with or without booklet, so based on food inflation, since the P1,300 was established — P1,300 is now worth P2,526 using food inflation, which means that the weekly (discount) will have to be P126.31,” Salceda, head of the ways and means panel, said.


“If you just use the headline inflation, including gas, et cetera, it should be P2,089 per week, that is P104.45.  Therefore, as the committee chair on ways and means, I suggest P125 per week [discount],” he added.

Agusan del Sur 1st District Rep. Alfelito Bascug then placed Salceda’s proposal into a motion, as no law is needed to change the maximum discount since it was implemented through an administrative order.

United Senior Citizens party-list Rep. Milagros Aquino-Magsaysay meanwhile questioned why the weekly discount is only at P125, saying that it would not hurt to push the incentives to P500 per week.

Magsaysay originally proposed a P500 per week discount, as stated by Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.

“Ano ba lang naman yo’ng kapiranggot na idadagdag (What is that meager increase that we are pushing for), Mr. Chair?  What’s P500 a month?” Magsaysay asked.

“Wag mong itapon sa akin ‘yan ah. Wala akong kasalanan sayo (Don’t throw that against me; I have not wronged you),” Salceda joked.  “For the moment, I think it’s a reasonable number. It is based on empirical data.”


Committee on Senior Citizens chairperson and Senior Citizens party-list Rep. Rodolfo Ordanes said that he has a proposal to increase the discount from five percent to 8.5 percent per week, but Salceda said Ordanes’ committee could deliberate on that separately.

For now, Salceda said that they are focused on bringing the discount cap from P65 to P125.

“You can tackle that bill in your committee, but in the meantime, we are instructing DTI jointly; this is actually the most powerful committee in Congress, it’s called the committee of the chairpersons, so there are three chairpersons here. We are instructing you to increase [the maximum discountable] from P1,300 to P2,500 per week,” Salceda said.

Concerns about the small discounts given to seniors were brought up during a past joint committee hearing last February 6, after Zamboanga Sibugay 1st District Rep. Wilter Palma relayed to the committee that while he and his wife were buying groceries in a mall near Fairview, Quezon City last Saturday, he was surprised to learn that despite the huge cost of their purchases, the discount was capped at P65.

It was then revealed that according to the Joint DTI-DA Administrative Order No. 10-02 series of 2010, seniors could enjoy a special discount of five percent for their groceries, provided that the “total amount of said purchase shall not exceed the amount of P1,300 per calendar week.”

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

READ: House to form TWG to study senior grocery discount hike

TAGS: discount, grocery, senior citizen, seniors

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.