Senior, PWD discounts on groceries to increase to P500 monthly

Senior, PWD discounts on groceries to increase to P500 monthly
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THE proposed increase to P500 per month in discounts on groceries and other prime commodities of senior citizens is seen to be implemented by the end of March, House Speaker Martin Romualdez said on Wednesday, February 28, 2024.

In a statement, Romualdez said Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) officials led by Undersecretary Carolina Sanchez told him in a meeting on Tuesday evening, February 27, that they are amenable to his request for additional discounts for the elderly and persons with disabilities, giving him a timeframe for its implementation.

“I am delighted to welcome the imminent implementation of increased discounts for our senior citizens and PWDs,” said Romualdez.

“This initiative to provide additional discounts for senior citizens and PWDs demonstrates the commitment of President [Bongbong] Marcos to promoting inclusivity and social justice,” he added.

Romualdez earlier sought for the increase, noting that the current P65 weekly discount is no longer responsive given the increasing cost of living.

Romualdez said senior citizens will enjoy a back-to-back bonanza as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. just signed into law on Monday, February 26, Republic Act 11982, or the Expanded Centenarian Act, granting a P10,000 cash gift to an elderly citizen upon reaching the age of 80 and every five years after until the age of 95.

The increased discount will be covered by a memorandum circular to be jointly issued by the Department of Agriculture, DTI and the Department of Energy.

The DTI said the discounts cover only basic goods and prime commodities, or typical items consumed daily, such as rice, corn, bread, meat, fish, chicken, eggs, cooking oil, sugar, vegetables, fruits, onions, garlic, as well as fresh and processed milk, except medical-grade milk.

Also covered are manufactured goods, such as processed meat, sardines, and even corned beef, although the premium brands are not.

Premium items, including non-essential food such as cakes and pastries are not covered by the discounts.

Senior citizens and PWDs may also enjoy additional discounts on basic construction supplies, like cement, hollow blocks, and electrical supplies, including light bulbs.

“I commend the efforts of the DTI and other concerned agencies for their diligence and commitment to advancing this crucial initiative. Their dedication to ensuring the timely implementation of these increased discounts is truly commendable and reflects our shared vision of a more inclusive and caring nation,” Romualdez said. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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