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Loren hails passage of expanded senior citizens act

January 20, 2010

“AS THE PRINCIPAL AUTHOR OF THIS BILL, I AM JUSTIFIABLY HAPPY THAT MY COLLEAGUES HAVE SEEN IT FIT TO PASS THIS IMPORTANT PIECE OF LEGISLATION,” SAID LOREN.
“As the principal author of this bill, I am justifiably happy that my colleagues have seen it fit to pass this important piece of legislation,” said Loren.
“Our senior citizens deserve more than what they are getting under the existing Senior Citizens Act. The Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2009 gives them a wider range of benefits and privileges. This is consistent with the constitutional provision that the State values the dignity of every human person and shall endeavor to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all the people, including the elderly,” Loren said.
“Senior citizens are an integral part of Philippine society and therefore we must lend full support to the improvement of their total well-being. We must let them take their proper place in society and encourage them to contribute to nation-building,” Loren explained.
At the same time, the senator said, the government should encourage their families and communities to reaffirm the valued Filipino tradition of caring for senior citizens.
Among the salient provisions of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2009 are the following:
• Senior citizens shall be granted exemption from the value-added tax (VAT) provided under the National Internal Revenue Code on the sale of goods and services from all establishments. They shall also be given a twenty percent (20%) discount on the purchase of medicines; on the professional fees of attending physicians in all private hospitals, medical facilities, and outpatient clinics; on medical and dental services, diagnostic and laboratory fees in all private hospitals and medical facilities, and outpatient clinics; in actual fare for land transportation, domestic air transport services and sea shipping; on the utilization of services in hotels and similar lodging establishments, restaurants and recreation centers; and on admission fees charged by theaters, cinema houses and concert halls, circuses, carnivals and other similar places of culture, leisure and amusement.
• Senior citizens who are considered minimum wage earners shall be given exemption from the payment of individual income taxes.
• The DOH shall administer free vaccination against the influenza virus and pneumococcal disease for indigent senior citizen patients.
• Throughout the country, there shall be established a “senior citizens ward” in every government hospital. This geriatric ward shall be for the exclusive use of senior citizens who are in need of hospital confinement by reason of their health conditions.
• Indigent senior citizens identified by the DSWD shall be entitled to a monthly stipend amounting to one thousand five hundred pesos (P1,500) to augment their daily subsistence and other medical needs.