Loren: Expanded Senior Citizens Act now ready for full implementation

June 22, 2010

With the IRR now in place and disseminated, Legarda hopes that concerned establishments would comply with the mandate of the law to give senior citizens the full 20 percent discount on goods and services on top of other benefits, as a result of being exempt from the expanded value tax (EVAT).
Legarda says, “It is a time-honored Filipino practice to take care of our elderly in their twilight years because our generation owes a lot to them and their hard work. That is the spirit behind this legislation.” The 20 percent discount can now be fully implemented on specific sale of goods and services, namely:
• transportation services, hotels and similar lodging establishment, restaurants and recreation centers and purchase of medicine anywhere in the country;
• theaters, cinema houses and concert halls, circuses, carnivals and other similar places of culture, leisure, and amusement
In addition to the VAT exemption, the Expanded Act likewise granted additional DISCOUNT and other benefits to Senior Citizens on the following:
• on the professional fees of attending physician/s in all private hospitals, medical facilities, outpatient clinics and home health care services and licensed professional health workers providing home health care services as endorsed by private hospitals
• on medical and dental services, diagnostic and laboratory fees in all prIvate hospitals, medical facilities, outpatient clinics, and home health care services
• the DOH shall administer free vaccination against the influenza virus and pneumococcal disease for indigent senior citizen patients (this was adopted from Legarda’s proposal under Senate Bill No.2154 and Manny Villar’s Senate Bill No. 1893)
• on funeral and burial services for the death of senior citizens
• the grant of a minimum of five percent (5%) discount relative to the monthly utilization of water and electricity supplied by public utilities
• death benefit assistance of a minimum of Two thousand pesos (Php2,OOO.OO) shall be given to the nearest surviving relative of a deceased senior citizen
Private establishments may claim the 20% discount given to Senior Citizens from the government by way of tax credit (pass-on provision).
Senator Loren Legarda is the principal author of RA 9994, which corrects the flaw of the previous Senior Citizens Act that only gave senior citizens an eight percent discount on the value of the item or services purchased. The Expanded Senior Citizens Act would also give indigent seniors and non-pensioners free medical insurance and disability assistance.