Senior citizens entitled to 5% discount on basic, prime goods

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011


THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reiterated that senior citizens are entitled to a five percent special discount on basic necessities and prime commodities as per Republic Act 9994 of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

Under the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 9994, basic necessities refer to rice, corn, bread, fresh, dried and canned fish and other marine products, fresh pork, beef and poultry, meat, fresh eggs, fresh and processed milk, fresh vegetables, root crops, coffee, sugar, cooking oil, salt, laundry soap, detergents, and drugs classified as essential by the DOH and other commodities as maybe classified by the DTI and the Department of Agriculture.

Prime commodities, on the other hand, include fresh fruits, flour, dried, processed and canned pork, beef and poultry, meat, dairy products not falling under basic necessities; noodles, onions, garlic, and all drugs not classified as essential drugs by the DOH and other commodities that may be classified by the DTI and the DA according to Republic Act 7581 or The Price Act.

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“Each senior citizen should be allotted the amount of P1,300 per week of said food and basic commodities,” the DTI said, adding that the total amount should be spent on at least four items. “The unused amount per week cannot be carried over to the following week’s purchase thus the amount allowable per week should be totally used up.”

Special discounts may be availed of only in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience and mini-convenience stores, excluding sari-sari stores, wet market, "talipapa" and cooperatives.

Senior citizens should always bring their purchase booklet when buying the goods. The booklet is distributed by the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA).

A senior citizen who cannot personally purchase basic necessities and prime commodities may designate a representative to transact on his or her behalf. The authorized representative is required to present a valid government–issued ID together with the OSCA-issued ID of the senior citizen and an authorization letter.

Senior citizens are also entitled to a five percent minimum special discounts on their water and electricity bills, provided that individual meters for these utilities are under the name of a senior citizen and monthly consumptions do not exceed 100 kilowatt hours for electricity and 30 cubic meters for water and that the privilege is granted per household regardless of the number of senior citizens residing therein.

RA 9994 grants additional benefits and privileges to senior citizens aside from the 20 percent discount and exemption from the value -added tax (VAT) on the sale of goods and services already provided for under RA 7432. (CGC)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 09, 2011.

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