Solon: LGUs can be tapped to enforce rule on discount for seniors

A party-list lawmaker on Tuesday said the local governments can be tapped to ensure the even implementation of the 20 percent discount for senior citizens.

Senior Citizens party-list Rep. Rodolfo Ordanes Jr. said the role of the local Office of Senior Citizen Affairs is larger than that of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) regarding the application and enforcement of purchase discounts.

“The problem with depending on the OSCAs for enforcement of the 20% seniors discount rule is its uneven implementation. Some local governments can do a good job but most cannot because of lack of personnel and resources,” he noted, adding that the best way to ensure proper enforcement of the rule is  the election of city and municipal officials “who can do the job right on seniors’ welfare.”

Ordanes said DTI’s role is limited to 5% special discount for basic necessities and prime commodities (BPNC), if senior citizens are buying from supermarkets and groceries. “As the law is presently written, the recent DTI statement on its role is correct and the 5% discount on purchases of basic necessities and prime commodities can overcome some of the impact of elevated inflation,” Ordanes pointed out.

“This 5% discount does not cover everything that can be purchased at supermarkets and groceries. It covers only basic necessities and prime commodities. There is also a purchase limit of P1,300. That is the status quo,” he added.

Ordanes said there are existing proposals in the House of Representatives seeking to expand the 20%  seniors discount to other expense items, but these are not yet laws and none of them involve grocery items. 

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