My mother is a member of the Senorito and Senorita Class in Makati (referring to Senior citizens). Every year, they are getting allowance from the City Government of Makati and a birthday cake, too. Our senior citizens are also enjoying free spa, free movies, participation in recreational and cultural activities for free like ballroom dancing, opera watching, among others. The local government has been providing free medicines and hospitalization to its bona fide senior citizens even prior to enactment of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act. These are only premium to Makati’s senorito and senoritas aside from enjoying 20% discount in primary commodities, medicine and restaurants.
Under RA 9994, otherwise known as the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010”, rights and privileges of senior citizens all over the country now include:
1. Twenty percent (20%) discount and exemption from the Value-Added Tax (VAT), if applicable, on the sale of the following goods and services from all establishments, for the exclusive use and enjoyment or availment of the senior citizen:
a. Purchase of medicines, including the purchase of influenza and pnuemococcal vaccines, and such other essential medical supplies, accessories and equipment to be determined by the Department of Health (DOH);
b. On the professional fees of attending physician/s in all private hospitals, medical facilities, outpatient clinics and home health care services;
c. On the professional fees of licensed professional health providing home health care services as endorsed by private hospitals or employed through home health care employment agencies;
d. On medical and dental services, diagnostic and laboratory fees in all private hospitals, medical facilities, outpatient clinics, and home health care services;
e. In actual fare for land transportation travel in public utility buses (PUBs), public utility jeepneys (PUJs), taxis, Asian utility vehicles (AUVs), shuttle services and public railways, including Light Rail Transit (LRT), Mass Rail Transit (MRT), and Philippine National Railways (PNR);
f. In actual transportation fare for domestic air transport services and sea shipping vessels and the like, based on the actual fare and advanced booking;
g. On the utilization of services in hotels and similar lodging establishments, restaurants and recreation centers;
h. On admission fees charged by theaters, cinema houses and concert halls, circuses, leisure and amusement; and
i. On funeral and burial services for the death of senior citizens;
2. Exemption from the payment of individual income taxes of senior citizens who are considered to be minimum wage earners in accordance with Republic Act No. 9504;
3. Five percent (5%) discount relative to the monthly utilization of water and electricity supplied by the public utilities. (Provided, 1. That the individual meters for the foregoing utilities are registered in the name of the senior citizen residing therein; 2. the monthly consumption does not exceed one hundred kilowatt hours (100 kWh) of electricity and thirty cubic meters (30 m3) of water) This privilege is granted per household regardless of the number of senior citizens residing therein;
4. Exemption from training fees for socioeconomic programs;
5. Free medical and dental services, 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 DOH in coordination with the PhilHealth;
6. The DOH shall administer free vaccination against the influenza virus and pneumococcal disease for indigent senior citizen patients;
7. Educational assistance to senior citizens to pursue pot secondary, tertiary, post tertiary, vocational and technical education, as well as short-term courses for retooling in both public and private schools through provision of scholarships, grants, financial aids, subsides and other incentives to qualified senior citizens, including support for books, learning materials, and uniform allowances, to the extent feasible. (The senior citizen shall meet minimum admission requirements);
8. The continuance of the same benefits and privileges given by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), the Social Security System (SSS) and the PAG-IBIG, as the case may be, as are enjoyed by those in actual service;
9. Retirement benefits of retirees from both the government and the 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;
10. Grant of 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);
11. Provision of express lanes for senior citizens in all commercial and government establishments, in the absence thereof, priority shall be given to them; and
12. Death benefit assistance of a minimum of Two thousand pesos (Php2, 000.00) shall be given to the nearest surviving relative of a deceased senior citizen which amount shall be subject to adjustments due to inflation in accordance with the guidelines to be issued by the DSWD.
To avail the foregoing privileges, the Senior Citizen or his/her duly authorized representative, may submit as proof of his/her entitlement, any of the following:
a. Senior Citizen Identification Card issued by the Office of the Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA) of the place where the senior citizen resides (which shall be honored nationwide);
b. The passport of the senior citizen concerned;
c. Other documents that will establish that the senior citizen is a citizen of the Republic and is at least sixty (60) years of age.
Aside from those mentioned, priority in service and parking spaces in establishments are also given to senior citizens.