FAST FACTS: What benefits are senior citizens entitled to?

Aika Rey
FAST FACTS: What benefits are senior citizens entitled to?
The first week of October is Elderly Filipino Week. According to the 2010 census, senior citizens or those aged 60 years old and over comprise 6.8% of our total population.

MANILA, Philippines – In 1994, former president Fidel Ramos declared the first week of October as Linggo ng Katandaang Filipino (Elderly Filipino Week) through Proclamation No. 470.

Every year, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), with other government agencies, local government units (LGUs) and nongovernment organizations (NGOs), lead the celebration of Elderly Filipino Week.

This is to emphasize the important role of older persons in nation-building, and to raise and address issues concerning the sector.

Based on the 2010 census, about 7 million – aged 60 years old and over –comprise our population. They are provided with benefits and privileges through the following legislation:

  • Republic Act No. 7432, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003
  • RA 9994, an amendment to RA 7432 to include additional services
  • RA 10645, an amendment to RA 9994 to provide mandatory PhilHealth coverage for all senior citizens.

Through years of upgrading and expanding services, here’s a list of benefits and privileges our elderly are entitled to:

DISCOUNTS*

  • 20% discount on:
    • Medical-related privileges
      • Medicine and drug purchases
      • Medical supplies, accessories and equipment
      • Medical and dental services
      • Professional fees of attending physician
      • Professional fees of licensed health workers providing home health care services
    • Transportation
      • Air and Sea
      • Land: LRT, MRT, PNR, buses, jeepneys, taxi and shuttle services
    • Hotels, restaurants, recreational facilities, places of leisure
      • Hotels, restaurants, theaters, cinemas, concert halls, circuses, leisure and amusement
    • Recreation centers
      • Fees, charges and rental for sports facilities and equipment
    • Funeral services
      • Funeral and burial expenses include casket or urn, embalming, cremation cost, and other services.
  • Utility discount
    • Grant of a minimum of 5% discount relative to the monthly use of water and electricity, provided that the meter is registered under the name of the senior citizen residing therein and does not exceed 100 kWh and 30 m³.

EXEMPTIONS

  • Tax exemption
    • Exemption from payment of individual income tax of those who are considered to be minimum wage earners
  • Training fee exemption
    • Training fees for socio-economic programs conducted by private and government agencies subject to the guidelines issued by DTI, DOLE, DA, TESDA and DOST-TRC.

FREEBIES

  • Free medical and dental services
  • Free vaccinations

GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE

  • Social Pension
    • Indigent senior citizens shall be entitled to a monthly stipend amounting to P500 to augment daily subsistence and other medical needs.
  • Mandatory PhilHealth coverage
    • All senior citizens are covered by the national health insurance program of PhilHealth.
  • Social safety nets
    • The social safety assistance shall include, but not be limited to, food, medicines, and financial assistance for house repair to cushion effects of economic, disaster and calamity shocks.
  • Death benefit assistance
    • Assistance of a minimum of P2,000 shall be given to the nearest surviving relative who took care of the deceased senior citizen.

OTHERS

  • Express lanes
    • Express lanes shall be provided in all private, banking, commercial and government establishments; priority shall be given in their absence.
  • Educational privileges
    • Assistance shall be granted to senior citizens to pursue education through provision of scholarships, grants, financial aids, subsidies and other incentives.
  • Benefits and privileges for retirees
    • Continuance of the same benefits and privileges by GSIS, SSS and PAG-IBIG as enjoyed by those in active service.
  • Privileges on special discounts in special programs

In order to avail of these benefits, the senior citizen or his/her authorized representative shall present a valid and original Senior Citizens’ Identification Card. Details for ID application may be found here

*Here are some things to take note on purchases:

Credit Card Payments
20% discount and VAT exemption shall also apply to purchase of goods and services paying through credit cards.

No double discounts
In cases where the senior citizen is also a person with disability (PWD), the senior citizen can only use either his/her senior citizen ID or PWD ID to avail of a 20% discount.

Tax deduction
Establishments may claim the discounts as tax deductions based on the cost of goods sold or services rendered. — Rappler.com

Sources: The Official Gazette of the Philippines, Philippine Statistics Authority

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.