BACOLOD City senior citizens lauded Monday the proposal of Senator Pia Cayetano for amending Republic Act (RA) 9257 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act.

The Act will give the senior citizens an exemption from the 12 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) and they would fully enjoy the 20 percent discount.

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This as Senator Cayetano, chair of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, was in Bacolod Monday for Senior Citizens forum at the New Government Center, and for holding a Bike for Hope advocacy under the Companero Rene Cayetano Foundation Inc. for cheaper quality of medicines.

Councilor Catalino Alisbo, chair of the City Council committee on senior citizens affairs, said the senior citizens didn't fully enjoy the 20 percent discount for any purchases because of the 12 percent VAT that are also implemented to the senior citizens, "and that the senior citizens would only avail eight percent discount for any purchase transactions."

Alisbo also welcomed the proposal of Cayetano, saying it would be a big help for the senior citizens in the City of Bacolod, adding that Cayetano was also pushing for the cheaper medicines in entire drug stores in the country.

He said discounts granted to senior citizens by various establishments, private medical and dental practitioners and clinics and transportation firms can be converted to tax deductions based on the net cost of the goods or services rendered.

He said violators of the provisions of the Act will be fined of P50,000 to P100,000 and will face six months to two years imprisonment for the first violation.

Cayetano, meanwhile, inspected several drug stores in several cities in Negros Occidental for the compliance of the Senior Citizens Act and for the Cheaper Medicines Act, noting that she also inquire the owners and representatives on the probable problems or recommendations they have for the implementation of said laws. (Merlinda A. Pedrosa)