Elderlies get more benefits
By Rose Palacio
Davao City (2 December) -- Department of Social Welfare and Development XI Director Mercedita Jabagat said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has approved a new law giving more benefits and privileges to senior citizens.
The new law, authored by then senator Noli de Castro who is now the vice president and known as Republic Act 9257 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003 was discussed during a stakeholders meeting held at the DSWD conference room Tuesday (Nov. 29).
The new law has amended Republic Act 7432 entitled "An Act to Maximize the Contribution of Senior Citizens to Nation Building, Grant Benefits and for other Purposes.
The new benefits include: assistance to continue further studies either in vocational or technical education; upgraded retirement benefits at par with the pay scale of those in actual service; special discounts on the purchase of basic commodities and medicines; and provision of express lanes for senior citizens in all commercial and government establishments.
The expanded law entitles older persons to necessary health services and facilities; education and social services; housing and access to employment and public transport.
The law also mandates government entities to extend realty tax holidays to those individuals or institutions.
Under the old law (RA 7432(, only senior citizens with an annual income of P60,000.00 and below were given Senior Citizens identification cards for them to avail of the 20-percent discounts.
Under the new and expanded law, all elderly persons who are at least 60 years old and are Filipino citizens are entitled to a 20-percent discount, regardless of their income.
The new law mandates the provision of identification cards for senior citizens without necessarily submitting certification from the Bureau of Internal Revenue of their income. (PIA) [top]