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PIA Press Release

Tacloban dad hosts dialogue on senior citizen’s affairs

Tacloban City (October 1) –- A dialogue conference on senior citizens affairs is scheduled to be hosted by Honorable Robert Hernandez, Chairman of the Tacloban City Sangguniang Panglungsod’s Special Committee on Senior Citizens on October 3, 2006.

The main objective of the Conference Dialogue, Honorable Hernandez revealed is the implementation of Republic Act 9257 better known as An Act Granting Additional Benefits and Privileges to Senior Citizens Amending for the Purpose R.A. 7432.

The Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003 aims to motivate and encourage the senior citizens to contribute to nation building; to encourage their families and the communities they live with to reaffirm the valued Filipino tradition of caring for the senior citizens; to give full support to the improvement of the total well-being of the elderly and their full participation in society considering that senior citizens are integral part of Philippine society; to recognize the rights of senior citizens to take their proper place in society.

R.A.9257 states that it must be the concern of the family, community, and government to provide a comprehensive health care and rehabilitation system for disabled senior citizens to foster their capacity to attain a more meaningful and productive ageing; and to recognize the important role of the private sector in the improvement of the welfare of senior citizens and to actively seek their partnership.

Any qualified senior citizen as determined by the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) may render his/her services to the community which shall consist of, but not limited to, any of the following: Tutorial and/or consultancy services; Actual teaching and demonstration of hobbies and income generating skills; Lectures on specialized fields like agriculture, health, environment protection and the like; The transfer of new skills acquired by virtue of their training; and Undertaking other appropriate services as determined by the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) such as school traffic guide, tourist aide, pre-school assistant, etc.

The Act also provides that senior citizens shall be entitled to the following: the grant of twenty percent (20%) discount from all establishments relative to the utilization of services in hotels and similar lodging establishment, restaurants and recreation centers, and purchase of medicines in all establishments for the exclusive use or enjoyment of senior citizens, including funeral and burial services for the death of senior citizens; a minimum of twenty percent (20%) discount on admission fees charged by theaters, cinema houses and concert halls, circuses, carnivals, and other similar places of culture, leisure and amusement for the exclusive use or enjoyment of senior citizens; exemption from the payment of individual income taxes: Provided, That their annual taxable income does not exceed the poverty level as determined by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for that year; exemption from training fees for socioeconomic programs.

The Expanded Act also provides for free medical and dental service, diagnostic and laboratory fees such as, but not limited to, x-rays, computerized tomography scans and blood tests, in all government facilities, subject to the guidelines to be issued by the Department of Health (DOH) in coordination with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth); the grant of twenty percent (20%) discount on medical and dental services, and diagnostic and laboratory fees provided under Section 4, including professional fees of attending doctors in all private hospitals and medical facilities, in accordance with the rules and regulations to be issued by the Department of Health, in coordination with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.

Also provided is the grant of twenty percent (20%) discount in fare for domestic air and sea travel for the exclusive use or enjoyment of senior citizens; the grant of twenty percent (20%) discount in public railways, skyways and bus fare for the exclusive use and enjoyment of senior citizens; educational assistance to senior citizens to pursue post secondary, tertiary, post tertiary, as well as vocational or technical education in both public and private schools through provision of scholarship, grants, financial aid subsidies and other incentives to qualified senior citizens, including support for books, learning materials, and uniform allowance, to the extent feasible: Provided, That senior citizens shall meet minimum admission requirement; to the extent practicable and feasible, the continuance of the same benefits and privileges given by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS) and PAG-IBIG, as the case may be, as are enjoyed by those in actual service; retirement benefits of retirees from both the government and private sector shall be regularly reviewed to ensure their continuing responsiveness and sustainability, and to the extent practicable and feasible, shall be upgraded to be at par with the current scale enjoyed by those in actual service. to the extent possible, the government may grant special discounts in special programs for senior citizens on purchase of basic commodities, subject to the guidelines to be issued for the purpose by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA); and provision of express lanes for senior citizens in all commercial and government establishments; in the absence thereof, priority shall be given to them.

Honorable Hernandez said that the Dialogue Conference will be held at the SP Session Hall, Legislative Building along Magsaysay Boulevard from 1:00 o’clock to 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon. He added that in order to maximize the implementation of this Act, the Committee has invited the various stakeholders like the member of the Committee in the persons of Hon. Arvin Antoni and Hon. Eden Pineda, all Sangguniang Panglungsod Members, Drug Stores Association of the Philippines, Rose Pharmacy, Mercury Drug Store, Fortune Drug Store, Department of Health, Philhealth, Office of Senior Citizens Affairs, Jollibee, Macdonald’s, Cindy’s, Top of the World, Asia Trading, Highway Supermart, Nena’s Trading, Silver Star Transport, Duptours, City Social Welfare and Development Office, Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board, Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine Information Agency and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Councilor Hernandez is also enjoining the general public to also attend the Dialogue Conference. (PIA 8) [top]

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