ANGELES CITY— The Balibago Federation of Senior Citizens (BFSC) received a start-up building facility through the efforts of Balibago village chief Rodelio Mamac in a bid to empower the senior citizens here.

Mamac, in an interview Tuesday, said the facility will be used for the cooperative project of the senior citizens, who are expected to run their own small restaurant and food stall in the said building, which was refurbished through the funding support of Mamac.

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Mamac said the members of the BFSC will also be tasked to “rebound” their investment in a couple of months with their earnings forming part of their organization’s budget.

“We believe in the importance of helping our senior citizens become more productive members of the community and to eliminate the perception that age is a hindrance to becoming productive and useful,” Mamac said.

Currently, senior citizens here enjoy support in terms of medicines from the barangay hall and logistical support for their various programs and events.

Mamac said he is also studying the possibility of urging local establishments here to help in the implementation of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

This, as senior citizens are set to be exempted from Value Added Tax and fully avail of the 20 percent discount on their purchases of qualified goods and services, as provided by the said act otherwise known as Republic Act No. 9994, signed by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo last February.

Under RA 9994, the list of goods and services which are entitled to the 20 percent senior citizen discount and VAT exemption were expanded to include purchase of medicines, including influenza and pneumococcal vaccines and other essential medical supplies, accessories and equipment, and actual fare for land travel in public utility jeepneys, taxis, utility vehicles and shuttle services.

To avail of the benefits, a senior citizen needs to present their Office of Senior Citizens Affairs-issued ID, passport or any other documents that prove that the he is a Filipino citizen and at least 60 years old. Also under the said law are stiffer penalties imposed on sellers of goods and services to ensure its strict compliance.