Senior citizens. File Photo

A bill filed at the House of Representatives seeks a graduated system for the senior citizens’ discount on certain goods and services.

House Bill 7487 was filed on March 7, 2023 by Senior Citizens party-list Rep. Rodolfo “Ompong” Ordanes.

“This bill seeks to reformulate the senior-citizen discounts we provide by restructuring it to become more dynamic to the needs of our senior citizens. It seeks to increase the discounts available to those senior citizens who are older and in need [of] discounts the most,” the bill’s explanatory note stated.

If passed into law, it will amend Republic Act (RA) 9994.

RA 9994 granted additional benefits and privileges to senior citizens, further amending RA 7432 (An Act to Maximize the Contribution of Senior Citizens to Nation Building, Grant Benefits and Special Privileges and for Other Purposes).

Under RA 9994, a senior citizen is entitled to “twenty percent (20%) discount and exemption from the value-added tax (VAT), if applicable, on the sale of the following goods and services from all establishments, for the exclusive use and enjoyment or availment of the senior citizen.”

The goods or services enumerated in RA 9994 include, among others, the purchase of medicines; professional fees of attending doctors in private hospitals, medical facilities, outpatient clinics and home health care services; actual fare for land transportation travel in public utility buses, public utility jeepney, taxis, Asian utility vehicles, shuttle services and public railways; services in hotels and similar lodging establishments, restaurants and recreation centers; admission fees charged by theaters and cinema houses; and funeral and burial services.

If the bill is passed into law, the discount will be as follows: 20 percent for senior citizens ages 60 to 69; 25 percent for those ages 70 to 79; 30 percent for those ages 80 to 89; and 35 percent for those ages 90 and above.

“The Senior Citizen Discount Act of 2010 provides a fixed 20% discount on goods and services to senior citizens in the Philippines. While this policy has been instrumental in providing support to the elderly population, a graduated senior citizen discount system based on age could provide more targeted assistance to elderly citizens in need,” the bill’s explanatory note read.