Implementation of the Senior Citizen,
PWD Discounts in Various Sales and Services

Section 4 (a) (7) of Republic Act 9994, also known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 grants a twenty percent (20%) discount and exemption from the value-added tax on services in hotel and similar lodging establishments, restaurants and recreation centers for all senior citizens.

While Section 6 of Republic Act 10754 or an Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disabilities provides for a twenty percent (20%) discount and VAT exemption on the purchase of certain goods and services from all establishments for persons with disability.

However, recent news of a senior citizen filing a case against a hotel based on the denial of her senior citizen discount and VAT exemption benefit highlights the need for more clarity on how the law is implemented evenly.

Moreover, a branch of a popular food chain has been called out for not extending the full senior citizen discount to a patron by entering an order for two persons, reducing the discount by almost half.

Additionally, the rare incident finds itself in court or catches the attention of the authorities, many such incidents affecting our senior citizens and PWDs have been reported in social media, and have sadly remained there without the benefit of sufficient clarity and guidance from appropriate government authorities.

Our senior citizens and Persons with Disability are some of the most marginalized segments in society, and it is precisely their disadvantaged positions that have necessitated the passage of laws to improve their condition.

There is a need to clarify from relevant government agencies and business establishments how senior citizen and PWD discounts are exactly implemented given that there are other laws and policies that cover sales promotions vis-a-vis discounts, and there is also a need to look into ways by which different establishments avoid giving them the full discount, as provided by law and which they absolutely deserve.

In light of these developments, Senator Risa Hontiveros called upon the relevant Senate Committee to oversee the application of senior citizen and PWD discounts across different sales and service establishments.

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