WITH the approval of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 (Republic Act 9994), the City Council is set to form a monitoring committee that would check strict compliance by the city's establishments.

Councilor Dante Pajo, chair of the City Council committee on senior citizen, said establishments are required to follow the mandates of the law or face stiffer penalty.

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He said those found violating the provisions of the law would be given a penalty of between P10,000 and P50,000 and imprisonment of at least one month but not more than six months.

"As the new chairperson of the City Council Committee on Senior Citizen, I will make sure that all senior citizens in the city can avail of all the benefits stipulated in the law," Pajo said.

He encouraged all senior citizens to secure their identification cards at the Office for Senior Citizen's Affairs near the City Health Office.

Pajo said this is to identify if the bearer of the card is still alive and not been used by other people.

In Cagayan de Oro, there are around 9,479 registered senior citizens who are set to enjoy a full 20 percent discount on goods and services and other benefits and privileges as enumerated under the RA 9994.

Aside from consumer goods and services, senior citizens can also avail of 20 discount in their billing statements such as house rent, building rent, water bills, hospital bill and electric bills as well as purchases on medicines and essential medical and dental supplies, accessories and equipment, diagnostic and laboratory fees in all government facilities, fares for buses, jeepneys, taxis, shuttle services, public railways, domestic air and sea transport and other vessels.

The tax privilege also applies to services in hotels, restaurants and similar establishments, admission fees in cinemas, theaters and other places of culture, leisure and amusement, and funeral and burial services.

"I will make sure that indigent elders will be given their monthly social pension of P500 and I will make a resolution to the council for the elders to avail of free movie pass, just like in Makati," Pajo said. (Nicole J. Managbanag)