What ID can I use to avail of the Senior Citizens’ discount?

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By Kelvin Lee

Question of Law

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


MY ELDER relatives often ask me about the Senior Citizens’ discount.

Typically, they ask what form of identification is acceptable to establishments in order to avail of the senior’s citizen discount aside from the senior’s citizen Id? This is actually a recurring issue and you would be surprised how often this pops up.

My own grandfather-in-law has complained about the refusal of a Davao restaurant to give him a discount because he could not present a Senior’s Citizen ID which he had left at home. This is despite the fact that he presented his Driver’s License which showed he was of the appropriate age to be granted a Senior’s Citizen discount. .

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Even prominent lawyers are not exempted from this issue. Election lawyer Romeo Macalintal once sued two restaurant establishments due to their refusal to grant him a senior’s citizen discount even when he presented proof of his age (not his Senior’s Citizen ID). The restaurants eventually apologized and settled the case with Atty. Macalintal.

As it turns out, the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 9994, or the Expanded Senior’s Citizen of 2010, already provides for the kinds of IDs that are sufficient for the grant of a Senior’s Citizen discount.

The IRR provides:

“5.5 Identification Document—refers to any document or proof of being a senior citizen which may be used for the availment of benefits and privileges under the Act and its Rules. It shall be any of the following:
a) Senior Citizens’ Identification Card issued by the Office of Senior Citizens
Affairs (OSCA) in the city or municipality where the elderly resides;
b) The Philippine passport of the elderly person or senior citizen concerned; and
c) Other valid documents that establish the senior citizen or elderly person as a citizen of the Republic and at least sixty (60) years of age, which shall include but not be limited to the following government-issued identification documents indicating an elderly’s birthdate or age: driver’s license, voters ID, SSS/GSIS ID, PRC card, postal ID” (Article 5.5, Rule 3).

Thus, all applicable establishments must honor the Senior’s Citizen discount so long as any proof of age is presented by the Senior Citizen, which includes valid documents such as the passport, the driver’s license or even the SSS/GSIS, PRC or postal ID.

The restaurant or the establishment cannot refuse to honor the discount even if a Senior’s Citizen ID is not present, so long as there are other valid documents showing proof of age. In other words, the establishment is required by law to honor the discount so long as any adequate ID which establishes the age of the senior citizen is presented.

So the short answer to the query is: any adequate proof of age such as government issued IDs are sufficient to avail of the Senior’s Citizen discount.

Please note that failure to grant the discount is punishable by under the provisions of R.A. 9994.

Thus, establishments should consider themselves warned. Honor the Senior’s Citizen discount. After all, it takes a lot of time to become a Senior Citizen. We should, at the very least, grant them this privilege of discounts.
***
The opinions expressed herein are solely of Atty. Lee. This column does not constitute legal advice nor does it create a lawyer-client relationship with any party. You can reach Atty. Lee at lvlawoffices@gmail.com

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 07, 2014.

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