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PIA Press Release

Region 8 senior citizens continue to enjoy benefits under RA 9257

Tacloban City (April 25) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Office 8 Director Letecia Corillo informed that the agency continues its monitoring to ensure that the senior citizens of the Region receives the benefits that are due them.

So far, the DSWD Regional Office has already received several complaints about owners of business establishments who are not granting the discount due the senior citizens. Fortunately, these complaints are resolved once acted upon by the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs in the respective local government units, Director Corillo underscored.

Director Corillo said that RA 9257 or the Expanded Senior Citizen's Act of 2003 provides additional privileges and benefits to senior citizens such as twenty percent (20%) discounts on goods and services like public transportation for land, air and sea; medical and dental services in private facilities which includes diagnostic laboratory fees, such as, but not limited to x-ray, c.t. scans and blood tests; professional fees of attending doctors in all private hospitals and medical facilities; admission fees in theaters, cinemas, carnivals and other places of culture, leisure and entertainment.

Special discounts is also granted on the purchase of basic necessities and prime commodities; free medical and dental services in government facilities which includes diagnostic and laboratory fees, not limited to x-rays, c.t. scans and blood tests subject to guidelines issued by the Department of Health.

Director Corillo added that under the new act, senior citizens are also exempted from individual income taxes provided that their annual taxable income does not exceed the poverty level and training fees for socio-economic programs conducted by private and government agencies.

Also, qualified senior citizens who wish to pursue post secondary, post tertiary, vocational or technical education in both public and private schools can avail the educational benefit thru scholarship grants, financial aids, subsidies and other incentives like support for books, learning materials and uniform allowances.

Granting of continuous benefits and privileges given by the Government Service Insurance System, Social Security System and Home Development Mutual Fund are also enjoyed by the retirees from both private and government sector, and shall be upgraded to equal the current scale benefits enjoyed by those in active service. The use of express lanes in all private, commercial and government establishments shall be given priority to them, Director corillo added.

However, abuse of these privileges is punishable for imprisonment of not less than six years and a fine of not less than P5,000.00 but not more than P50,000. To avail these benefits, an older person can present an identification card issued by the city/municipal mayor/Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) and the barangay captain where the senior citizen resides, passport, or any document which proves that he/she is at least 60 years of age and a Filipino citizen.

Violation of this Act shall be punishable by six months to two years imprisonment and a fine of P50,000 to P100,000 for the first violation/offense; and a fine of P100,000 to P200,000 with two to six years imprisonment for subsequent or succeeding violations.

Foreigner or alien offenders shall be deported immediately after sentence is served without further deportation proceedings while corporations, organizations and the like reported violating such provisions would result to the cancellation or revocation of their business permits, permit to operate, franchise and other similar privileges granted to any business entities.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Internal Revenue explained that based on Section 10 of the Revenue Regulations No. 1-2007 issued by the Department of Finance through the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the computation is the amount of sale less 20 percent sales discount. After that, the 12 percent VAT based on the valuable sale is added to give the total amount to be paid.

This means that the 20 percent discount is removed first before the 12 percent EVAT is added unto the first amount to be paid by the senior citizens.

Department of Social Welfare and Development Region 8 Director Letecia Corillo said that although, her office has not received any complaints regarding the computation of the 20 percent discount, it is good to inform the senior citizens in the Region how it is computed so that they will be clarified. (PIA 8) [top]

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