Roxas seeks VAT exemption for senior citizens
Davao City (17 February) -- Liberal Party President Senator Mar Roxas filed a bill last week seeking to exempt senior citizens from the value added tax for medicines they buy in addition to the 20% discounts that they already get.
"Mahalaga ang ating mga senior citizens sa pagsisigurong matibay ang pundasyon ng ating mga pamilya. Isang malaking ginhawa kung sa kanilang pamilya ang ma-exempt sila sa VAT para magkaroon sila ng murang gamot (Our senior citizens are important in maintaining the stability of the foundations of Filipino families. It will be a big relief of them if they are exempted from paying VAT on medicines)," said Roxas, primary author of the new Cheaper Medicines Law.
Roxas' Senate Bill No. 3061 seeks to amend Republic Act No. 9257 or the Senior Citizens Act of 2003 by the exempting senior citizens from the 12% VAT on medicines.
He said he filed the bill in response to appeals from various senior citizens' groups he has met around the country to promote the Cheaper Medicines Law and encourage local government units to directly import cheaper but quality medicines using the law.
"It bears stressing that most of our senior citizens have no steady source of income after retirement, thus the 20% senior citizen's discount and exemption from the 12% EVAT would be of big help to them," he said.
He noted that while the 20% discount privilege accorded to senior citizens eased their financial burdens, the imposition of the 12% EVAT on the sale of goods and services diminished its effect.
"Kung gusto talaga nating maging mapagaan ang buhay ng ating mga senior citizens, sagarin na natin, tanggalin na natin ang EVAT sa gamot na binibili nila ngayon (If we really want to alleviate the plight of our senior citizens, then let's give them total relief, let's lift the EVAT on the medicines that they buy)," he added.
SB No. 3061 also allows drug stores that comply with the proposed VAT exemption to claim this as tax credit to be deducted from their tax liability for the same taxable year that the discount is granted.
The proposed bill also imposes a fine for persons who refuse to give senior citizens' VAT exemption to P500,000. Anyone who abuses the privileges and incentives also face a fine of not less than P100,000 to a maximum of P1 million and imprisonment of not less than one year. (Office of Sen Mar Roxas/PIA) [top]