The Senior Citizen Discount: Government Mandated Policies on SC Discounts when Dining Out


Taking our parents out during the weekends and holidays is always a good idea.  If your parents are in their senior years, you get a bonus in the form of discounts when paying for products and services they availed.  All they need to do is flash their Senior Citizen IDs and a fraction of their bill will be waived, plus you get to snag the best parking spots during busy hours at the malls!

When dining out as a group with one or two senior citizens in tow, most restaurants take longer than usual to compute the final bill.  Once we ordered a whole cake as we were celebrating my Lola’s birthday, we were surprised when the cashier asked how many people were going to partake of the cake as that will be their basis in applying my Lola’s Senior Citizen discount (mind you, my Lola paid for the cake with her “birthday money” – she insisted.).

To help us understand how dining establishments treat the Senior Citizen discounts, we are sharing the provisions of RA 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizen’s Act of 2010, particularly the section that deals with dining out, ordering food for takeout and delivery, and dining out as a group.  Share this with friends and families who have senior citizen relatives!


Q: If a group of 5 comprised of four non-senior citizens and one senior citizen dines in a restaurant, how should the group be billed?

A: The bill should be computed as follows:

Senior Citizen Discount = (Total Billing Amount / Number of Customers) less 12% VAT x 20%

Let us say the total bill is Php 1,000.  Using the formula above, the Senior Citizen’s discount should be:

(Php 1,000 / 6 customers) = Php 166.67 per customer

Php 166.67 – 12% = Php 146.67 (VAT Ex for Senior Citizen)

Php 146.67 x 20% = Php 117.33 (discounted bill for the Senior Citizen only)

To get the total discounted bill for the group:

Php 166.67 per customer x 5 non-senior citizen customers = Php 833.35

Php 833.35 + Php 117.33 (discounted bill for the Senior Citizen only) = Php 950.68

The above formula is applicable if “no individualized food item can be ordered or if the transaction with the Senior Citizen is not processed separately.  Note as well that before the 20% Senior Citizen discount was applied, the billable amount for the Senior Citizen was made VAT exclusive.

Q: For restaurants, are condiments and side products covered by the Senior Citizen discount and VAT exemption?

Yes.  For restaurants, the discount shall be for the sale of food, drinks, desserts, and other consumable items served by the establishments, including value meals and promotional meals, offered for the consumption of the general public.

Q: Is there a maximum amount or cap on the discount that may be granted to Senior Citizens?  For example, may a restaurant limit the grant of discount to Senior Citizens to P40 even if the computed 20% discount is higher than P40?

No.  In no case shall the discount granted to Senior Citizens in the example be less than 20%.  There should be no fixed, maximum amount or cap which will limit the discount below the rate of 20%.  The 20% discount shall be given to goods purchased by Senior Citizen based on the selling price exclusive of VAT.

Q: For set meals, what are the rules?

The 20% discount and VAT exemption shall also apply to set meals purchased by Senior Citizens, provided that the meal shall be limited to a single-serving meal with beverage for an individual senior citizen.  In case the set meal is not limited to a single serving and is shared with non-senior citizens, the value of the food purchase attributable to the Senior Citizen may be computed in accordance with the formula stated in the First Question.

Q: What is the rule for purchase of group meals by “group walk-ins” or group composed of all Senior Citizens?

If the group of diners is composed of Senior Citizens who ordered for group meals or food items for sharing in restaurants, each Senior Citizen with a valid Senior Citizen’s ID card shall be entitled to a 20% discount and VAT exemption, hence, if all the Senior Citizens in the Group have valid Senior Citizens’s ID cards, the entire food purchase shall be entitled to the 20% discount and VAT exemption.

Q: What are considered “bulk orders”?

Bulk orders are within the context of pre-contracted or pre-arranged group meals or packages, and hence, not entitled to 20% discount and VAT exemption.

Q: Is the purchase of a whole cake subject to 20% discount?

A purchase of a whole cake may be considered as a purchase of a “group meal or meal for sharing.”  For instance, if the whole cake purchased is good for five (5) persons, and the group of diners is composed of five Senior Citizens, each with a valid Senior Citizen’s ID card, then they shall be entitled to the 20% discount.  If the group of diners is composed of Senior Citizens, but not all have their valid Senior Citizen’s ID card, or composed of Senior Citizens and Non-senior citizens, the value of the cake attributable to the qualified Senior Citizens shall be computed in accordance with the formula above.

If a Senior Citizen purchases a slice of cake or a personal serving of cake, he shall be entitled to the 20% discount.


Next time you take your Lolo and Lola out for lunch or dinner, go over the bill and try to compute on your own if the establishment applied the discounts corresponding to the type of purchase made (group orders, individual orders, etc.) and if the Senior Citizen discounts were applied correctly.

Also, don’t be surprised if the cashier starts counting how many people in your group are senior and non-senior citizens.  The law on SC discounts mandates them to do just that, don’t get offended or feel like you are being shortchanged.

Tomorrow, we will feature additional policies when applying SC discounts at restaurants and similar establishments and if Senior Citizens can still avail of discounts even if they do not have their SC ID with them.  Stay tuned!




Published by MasterCitizen

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6 thoughts on “The Senior Citizen Discount: Government Mandated Policies on SC Discounts when Dining Out

  1. For Whole cake purchase. What if the senior citizen bought whole cake for take out and presents a senior ID? How will we compute the amount that the senior has to pay for a whole cake to take out?

    1. Some establishments compute it by the slice, some give the discount for the whole cake, while others don’t give discounts at all (like Goldilocks, I think, based on our experience). You can direct your question to the OSCA to get the most updated and accurate answer. I shall do my research too. Thank you for bringing this up. 🙂

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