Hike in senior citizen discount needs further study

Hike in senior citizen discount needs further study–DTI official

/ 02:24 AM February 15, 2024

MANILA, Philippines  —A proposal to increase senior citizen discounts on basic goods can hurt local businesses, highlighting the need to study the measure further and conduct public consultations, a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) official said.

Trade Assistant Secretary Amanda Nograles, spokesperson of the DTI’s consumer protection group, said on Wednesday the matter would have to be studied, to make it clear who would absorb the cost of increasing the discount for the elderly.

“If we increase the 5-percent special discount so it will become P125 per week, our establishments, businesses, supermarkets, groceries will take a hit because if it becomes bigger, it will be treated as an expense and not as a tax deduction,” Nograles said in an interview with DZXL radio.


“We will need to consult everyone that will be affected by the proposal and study it properly,” she added.


Special weekly discount

Earlier on Tuesday, a joint committee at the House of Representatives directed the DTI and the Department of Agriculture (DA) to increase the special weekly discount on basic goods given to senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs).

READ: DTI ordered to raise seniors’ grocery discount to P125 per week

The House Committee on Ways and Means and Special Committee on Senior Citizens called for the hike in the discount cap from P65 to P125 per week, or a total of P500 per month, citing increasing cost of consumer goods.

Seniors and PWDs are entitled to a special 5-percent discount on the regular retail price—without exemption from the value added tax—of basic necessities under DTI-DA Administrative Order No. 10-02. This is mandated by Republic Act No. 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act.

The total value of goods they can avail themselves of is capped at P1,300 per week, entitling them to a discount of P65.

Examples of food items considered by the government as basic necessities are rice, corn, fresh eggs, fresh pork, beef and poultry meat. Also included in this category are canned fish and other marine products, processed milk, coffee, laundry soap, detergent, candles, bread and salt.

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TAGS: discount, Senior Citizen

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