Macalintal offers ways to enhance bills to benefit seniors, PWDs

Macalintal offers ways for 3 House bills to truly benefit seniors, PWDs

/ 01:27 PM March 24, 2024

Atty. Romulo Macalintal

Veteran lawyer Romulo Macalintal (INQUIRER file photo)

MANILA, Philippines — While three recently approved House Bills (HBs) granting additional benefits to senior citizens (SCs) and persons with disabilities (PWDs) are a welcome development, SC rights advocate Romulo Macalintal said the bills need further amendments to enhance their effectiveness.

The House of Representatives last week gave the green light to HB 10061, 10062, and 10063, which will expand the benefits received by SCs and PWDs.


READ: 3 bills expanding senior, PWD discounts OKd 


But in a statement on Sunday, Macalintal explained that HB 10061, which grants 20 percent discount and value added tax (VAT) exemption to SCs and PWDs on goods and services on promotion, should be amended to clearly provide that it shall include any “meal package” or “meal combination” consumed inside the restaurant or establishment.

Macalintal, a lawyer, also explained that HB 10062, granting 20 percent discount and VAT exemption on parking fees, “should specifically provide that ‘parking services’ shall include ‘valet parking services’ in any hotel or establishment, for vehicles driven by SCs or PWDs or where they are passengers.”

HB 10062 also provides for a 15 percent discount on electricity and water consumption, “provided the consumption does not exceed 100 kilowatt hours (kwh) or 30 cubic meters.”

However, the SC rights advocate noted that this provision should be amended to the effect that the stipulated 15 percent discount should be applied instead to the “first 100 kph or the first 30 cubic meters,” and any excess there on should be charged the regular rate without any discount.

Macalintal said this is because with the approved HB’s current provision, only few SCs and PWDs will enjoy the benefit since the discounts will not be granted with electricity or water consumption exceeding 100 kph or 30 cubic meters.

Meanwhile, HB 10063, which seeks to give immediate access to government portals and applications to SCs and PWDs for online purchases, should also direct the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to redesign their business website system for online purchases made by the beneficiaries, he suggested.


“The DTI should immediately require all establishments to put up or design senior-friendly portals and applications within a reasonable period (e.g., 30 days), after which no permit shall be granted to them by the DTI or the local government units,” Macalintal said.

READ: Bigger goods discount for seniors, PWDs set 

He further said the Department of Health should be directed to immediately revoke its policy of limiting SCs’ supply of medicines for one month only under its Administrative Order No. 2010-0032, since this is allegedly not provided for by law.

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“The supply of medicines of a senior citizen should depend on the prescription of his physician, especially if a SC will travel abroad for more than a month and needs his regular maintenance while living abroad,” Macalintal pointed out.

TAGS: Macalintal, PWDs, seniors

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