MANILA -- Starting today (Tuesday), senior citizens no longer need to pay the 12 percent value-added tax (VAT) since the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) on tax exemption has taken effect.

Last June, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has signed the IRR for Republic Act 9994 also known as the "Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010" granting additional privileges to citizens 60 years old and above.

The law allows senior citizens to enjoy a full 20 percent discount on purchase of goods and services; on land, sea and air fare; admission to movie theatres and the likes; and a 500-peso monthly social pension for indigent senior citizens which shall be subject to availability of funds.

Other benefits include a five percent discount on electric and water consumption provided that the monthly consumption should not exceed 100 kilowatt hours of electricity and 30 cubic meters of water and medical related privileges, which shall be subject to the guidelines by the health department from effectivity of the IRR. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)