Category: Senior Citizen News and Facts

8 Aug 19 (1)

Often I would hear a senior citizen customer asking a cashier or store manager to explain how his or her discount privilege was applied to the purchase.  Most of the time, they feel that that the discount given to them is insignificant – kinda like an “expectation versus reality” scenario we often see in our Facebook feed.

So to help everyone understand how senior citizen discounts are applied, I am sharing the following computation that I found in  Read on.

Product price: Php 500

VAT Rate: 12%

Formula: Selling Price / VAT Rate = VAT Exempt Sales

Solution: PHP 500 / 1.12 = PHP 446.43

Since senior citizens are entitled to a 20% discount upon purchase of goods and services, you need to deduct the percentage by multiplying the VAT exempt sales by 20%.

Formula: VAT Exempt Sales x 20% = Senior Citizen Discount

Solution: PHP 446.43 x 0.20 = PHP 89.29

To identify the billable amount, subtract the VAT exempt sales by senior citizen discount.

Formula: VAT Exempt Sales – Senior Citizen Discount = Billable Amount

Solution: PHP 446.43 – PHP 89.29 = PHP 357.14


Facts about SC privileges we need to know

 1. PhilHealth benefits for senior citizens are mandatory.

 This is a government-mandated privilege and must be honored by all accredited healthcare facilities in the Philippines.  This is provided in addition to the senior citizen discount and VAT exemption, such that:

  • When a senior citizen is confined in a private hospital, the 20% discount and VAT exemption are deducted first from the medical bill before deducting the PhilHealth benefit.
  • No Balance Billing policy applies in public hospitals where senior citizen patients no longer pay for their hospital bill.

The senior citizen can avail of treatments even without a Member Data Record (MDR), they need only to show their senior citizen ID or any government ID.  For hassle-free benefits claim though, it is better to register as a senior citizen PhilHealth member.

  1. The Senior Citizen Law applies everywhere in the Philippines.

 When a senior citizen is denied the mandatory 20% discount anywhere in the Philippines, you can demand it from the store owner or the manager.  Further, you can file a complaint at the city or municipal hall where the business establishment is located, or at the Office of Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA) of the same.

  1. Senior Citizens can get a Senior Citizen discount using any valid ID.

 If the senior is unable to present his or her senior citizen ID issued by the OSCA, he or she can simply present any government-issued ID such as:

  • Passport
  • SSS or UMID card
  • Driver’s License
  • PRC ID
  • Voter’s ID
  • Postal ID

That is why it is best that the senior citizen family member has at least one or more other ID in his possession all the time.  It is illegal for businesses to honor only the senior citizen ID and refuse to give discounts when senior customers present other valid IDs.

  1. A senior citizen can authorize a representative to claim the 20% discount on his or her behalf.

 If the senior citizen is unable to walk or leave the house, is bedridden or confined in a hospital, he or she can claim their discounts on food and medicine purchases by assigning an authorized representative.  Below is the list of required documents and IDs needed in order to claim the said discount through a representative:

  • Senior citizen ID or any government ID
  • OSCA Purchase Booklet
  • The representative’s government ID
  • Signed authorization letter from the senior citizen
  1. Double discounts are not allowed.

 What does this mean?

Seniors cannot avail of promotional discounts in hotels, restaurants, and other establishments on top of the 20% discount.  The SC law states that when seniors purchase something on a promo, they can get only either of the two discounts, whichever is higher.

  1. Senior citizens are entitled to 5% utility discounts.

 If the utility bill accounts are under the senior citizen’s name, a 5% discount can be applied to their power and water bills.  The following conditions apply though:

  • Household consumes not more than 100 kWh of electricity in a month.
  • Household consumes not more than 30 cubic meters of water in a month.
  1. Senior citizens get a 5% discount on some grocery supplies.

 This is applicable when seniors buy groceries worth up to PHP 1,300 per week of at least four kinds of basic necessities and prime commodities:

  • Rice, bread, and corn
  • Chicken, beef, and pork (fresh, canned, and processed)
  • Fresh eggs
  • Coffee, creamer, and sugar
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Garlic and onions
  • Cooking oil and salt
  • Noodles, canned sardines, and canned tuna
  • Fresh milk and other dairy products
  • Detergents
  • Electrical supplies, light bulbs, and batteries
  • Geriatric diapers

Just make sure that they are able to present their OSCA purchase booklet when they shop at supermarkets and drug stores.  This is not applicable at sari-sari stores, cooperative stores, wet markets, and talipapa.

  1. 20% discount when booking Grab rides.

 Ride-hailing services such as Grab are mandated to grant 20% discount to senior customers.  The Grab account should be listed under a senior’s name though in order for the discount to automatically apply.

  1. Domestic flights booked online come with senior citizen discount.

 Major local airlines offer 20% SC discount and VAT exemption for online flight bookings of senior citizens.  Included in the airline list are AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, and Philippine Airlines.

The SC discount applies only to regular fares for domestic flights.  This is not applicable for promo fares, baggage allowance, and other fees.  International flights are not covered as well.

  1. Vehicle coding exemption and free parking in certain cities.

 Makati and Manila cities exempt seniors from the number coding scheme – whether the senior drives the vehicle or is a passenger.  Registered senior citizens enjoy free parking in Cebu City, Manila, Muntinlupa City, and Quezon City.

  1. Access to priority lanes and queues.

 Seniors no longer need to line up in banks, train stations, fast food restaurants, supermarkets, and drug stores.



8 Aug 15

Do you have a senior citizen in the family?  We do and we have a lot of them (haha!).  That is why it pays to be aware of their benefits and privileges, provided by the government and some private establishments.

I am sharing the following lists of discounts, mandatory benefits, and important facts about senior citizen privileges.  If you find this helpful, please share it to families and friends so more people can benefit from this information.

Discounts and VAT Exemptions:

  • Medicines – Generic and branded medicines, vitamins, and mineral supplements (with doctor’s prescription).
  • Medical supplies and equipment – Hearing aids, eyeglasses, wheelchairs, crutches, dentures, etc.
  • Medical and dental services in private facilities – Lab tests such as blood tests, x-rays, etc.
  • Professional fees – of attending physicians and licensed health workers.
  • Domestic air and sea travel fares
  • Public land transportation fares – Jeepneys, buses, taxis, shuttle services, MRT, LRT, PNR, etc.
  • Hotels – Accommodation and amenities in hotels, beach resorts, mountain resorts, etc.
  • Restaurants – Food, beverages, dessert, and other consumables for a dine-in, take-out, drive-thru, and delivery orders.
  • Recreation centers – Rental and other fees for sports facilities such as gyms, badminton courts, tennis courts, ballroom dancing studios, bowling lanes, etc.
  • Places of leisure – Cinemas, museums, parks, theaters, concert halls, etc.
  • Funeral and burial services – for deceased senior citizens, hospital morgue, embalming, casket or urn, cremation, etc.

Mandatory Benefits

Aside from the 20% senior citizen discount and VAT exemption, Filipino seniors also enjoy many other privileges such as:

  • Income tax exemption – for minimum wage earners.
  • Training fee exemption – on socio-economic programs.
  • Free medical and dental services – in government facilities
  • Free flu and pneumococcal vaccinations – for indigent senior citizens.
  • Scholarships and financial assistance – for seniors’ education in public and private schools.
  • Retirement benefits from SSS, GSIS, and Pag-IBIG
  • Discounts in special programs – for senior citizens
  • Express lanes for senior citizens – in all government offices and commercial establishments.

Next week, we are going to feature more facts about senior citizen privileges that some Pinoys may not know yet.  Visit us again!




5 May 08-1

I have senior citizen parents and aunts and uncles that is why I am so used to the proverbial senior citizen discounts that they demand from food establishments we frequent during weekends and holidays.  They could get too demanding sometimes, mind you.  But little did I know that there are still a lot of other privileges that our senior citizen family members are rightfully entitled to, except most of them (and us!) are still unaware of these.

I did a quick research and found some helpful materials online. I am sharing the list of senior citizen privileges that most of us probably still didn’t know; please make sure you share this with your family and friends too.

  1. Free medical and dental services.

This includes diagnostic and laboratory fees such as x-rays, computerized tomography scans (CT Scans) and blood tests in all government facilities.  This also includes free vaccinations against influenza and pneumococcal disease for indigent senior citizen patients.

  1. Free parking in Quezon City Malls

My aunt, who frequents SM Fairview, told me about this. At 63 years old, she drives herself to the gym at least three times a week and never had to pay for parking fees.  All she has to do is flash her Senior Citizen ID to the guard and they let her pass.  Other malls follow the first three hours policy for seniors so make sure you ask the parking attendant to avoid confusion.

  1. Educational Scholarship

Should a senior citizen decide to pursue his education, he or she may be granted a scholarship, financial aid, subsidies, and other incentives.  This is available to senior citizens that are able to meet minimum admission requirements for secondary, tertiary, post tertiary, vocational, or technical education, as well as short-term courses in a public or private school.

  1. 5% discount on Water and Electric Bills

This is applicable when the utilities are registered in the name of the senior citizen and that the monthly consumption does not exceed 100 kWh for electricity and 30m’ for water.  The privilege is granted per household, not per senior citizen residing in the address.

  1. Tax Exemption

Senior citizens are entitled to Income Tax exemption for as long as he or she is a minimum wage earner in accordance with RA 9504.

  1. Air and Sea Transportation Fee Discounts

Apart from discounts on land transportation travel in public utility vehicles such as buses, jeepneys, taxis, trains, and AUVs, a senior citizen is also entitled to discounts on air and sea fares.  This includes airlines such as Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines.

  1. Death Benefit Assistance, Social Pension, and PhilHealth Coverage.

The DSWD grants a social pension to indigent senior citizens in the amount of Php 500.00 every month.  All senior citizens are also mandatorily covered by PhilHealth and are considered automatic members, entitled to the same privileges as regular contributing members of the PhilHealth.

A senior citizen is entitled to discounts on funeral and burial services, to be claimed by his or her beneficiary or any person who shall shoulder the funeral and burial expenses of the deceased senior citizen.

  1. Free movies.

We will feature the list of free movie day schedules per city in Metro Manila in our upcoming blogs.  In Quezon City, senior citizens can watch up to two movies for free every Monday and Tuesday.

  1. Express Lanes

Supermarkets, hotels, and even public restrooms provide express lanes for senior citizens for their convenience.

  1. Discounts in hotels and recreational places

Amusement parks such as Enchanted Kingdom and Star City provide discounts to senior citizens even if these are not considered basic necessities.  They can also get discounts to as much as P600 to P1,800 in hotels.


RA No. 9994 (



08 - 29

My mom is a senior citizen enjoying all perks and privileges offered by our government to citizens her age.  She gets to beat long lines at grocery stores and rest rooms, watches movies for free at the mall at least once a week, and gets discounts when dining out.

As her designated carer, my major concern is her health.  Because of her age and deteriorating immune system, she now easily catches minor illnesses like cough and colds.  Lately, she has been complaining of a nagging pain in her right eye; sometimes, it would radiate to her right temple and then progress to a full-blown headache.  In times like these, we are thankful that our senior citizen mom is covered by Philhealth.  We are assured of assistance if only with her hospital bills.

If you are caring for a senior parent or grandparent, it is important that you are well-versed with the Philhealth’s medical assistance coverage for the elderly.  I have summarized the following information about senior citizens’ automatic membership with the Philhealth; this has helped me and my siblings understand and appreciate Philhealth’s efforts at providing much-needed assistance in our parents’ medical needs.

Read and share!

In what membership category will Philhealth enroll senior citizens with no coverage?

The Senior Citizen category shall be for a senior citizen who is:

  1. Not yet issued with a Philhealth Identification Number or PIN;
  2. A member in the formal or informal economy but has not qualifying contributions to be entitled to the Program benefits;
  3. Not an identified indigent under the National Household Targeting Systems for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) or listahan of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD);
  4. Not currently a Sponsored Member;
  5. Not yet qualified as a Lifetime Member; and
  6. A qualified dependent of an NHIP member who has been declared in Philhealth’s membership database.

Can a Senior Citizen member declare dependents?

Yes, just like any other Philhealth Member.

What if the dependent of a Senior Citizen is a senior citizen as well?

Dependents of Senior Citizen members who are senior citizens themselves, e.g. legal spouses, can be enrolled as “Senior Citizen” members too.

What about senior citizens who are gainfully employed?  Will they continue to remit contributions?

Yes, senior citizens who are gainfully employed or remains to have a regular source of income shall continue to contribute to the NHIP.

Is the Senior Citizen category the same with the Lifetime Member Category?

No.  The LMP members need not pay contributions to be eligible to the benefits.  The Senior Citizen members have premium contributions which are paid from the proceeds of the Sin Tax Law.

What are the benefit entitlements of Senior Citizens?

Senior Citizen members will be entitled to benefits for inpatient hospital care, day/ambulatory services, Z-benefits and other special benefit packages.

Starting January 2015, Senior Citizen members along with the Lifetime Members and those registered as Kasambahays aged 60 years old and above shall also be entitled to the Primary Care Benefit Package: Tamang Servisyo sa Kalusugan ng Pamilya (Tsekap).

Will Senior Citizen Members be entitled to the No Balance Billing Policy of Philhealth?

Yes, along with Lifetime Members and those registered as Kasambahays aged 60 years old and above.

How will Senior Citizens avail of the benefits?

Senior Citizens only need to present their senior citizen card, MDR or any accepted proof of identity and age; provided the hospital has an HCI Portal installed.

A PBEF that says “YES” – the patient is entitled to the benefits shall serve as a basis for automatic deduction.

In case the hospital has no portal installed, the PBEF says ‘NO’, or the senior citizen was not able to enroll before discharge, then the following may be attached to the usual claims documents:

  1. duly accomplished Philhealth Member Registration Form (PMRF); and
  2. an acceptable proof of status as senior citizen including but not limited to the Senior Citizen’s Identification Card and Birth Certificate.


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04 - 10

As a Senior Citizen, you can either buy your medicines personally or have someone else run the errand for you.  To be sure you are given your rightful discounts and privileges when purchasing your medicines, take note of the following reminders and requirements:

To avail of the 20% discount on medicines:

  1. Present your Senior Citizen’s ID and Purchase Slip Booklet duly approved by the Office of Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA) Chairman.
  2. Present the Doctor’s prescription, making sure the following are clearly written:
    • Patient’s name, age, address, and date of prescription.
    • Generic name of the prescribed medicine.
    • Name and address of the doctor.
    • Doctor’s PTR number and S2 license (the latter is vital especially when prescribed medicines fall under the “prohibited and regulated drug” category).
  3. If the Senior Citizen patient could not afford the consultation fees of a private doctor, he may visit the nearest health center or government hospital in his area and secure a prescription free of charge.
  4. Any single dispensing should not be more than one week’s supply of medicines except of the following chronic conditions that require continuous use of medicines for a month:
    • Hypertension
    • Diabetes
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Arthritis
    • TB
    • Cancer
    • Psychosis
    • Other illnesses that require extensive medication

The following should be recorded in a special record Book of Senior Citizens Discount provided under RA 7432:

  1. Name of Senior Citizen
  2. Address
  3. SC ID number
  4. Generic name of the drug/medicine
  5. Number of units dispensed

Take note that some pharmacies may require additional proof of identification in cases when only a representative is sent to purchase the medicines.  While they acknowledge the fact that some Senior Citizens may not be physically able to visit a pharmacy, they also need to ensure that these medicines are dispensed for the Senior Citizen’s consumption only.

If you are sending someone else to buy your medicines for you, make sure he has all the required documents and is also ready with his own identification cards.


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03 - 17

Since Filipino Senior Citizens are automatically granted VAT exemptions and certain discounts on their purchases, does it also follow that they should be exempted from paying income taxes as well?

We cannot deny the fact that a lot of Filipinos in their senior years are still gainfully employed and have become immensely successful at their chosen careers. And while they are entitled to the full benefits and privileges mandated by law for senior citizens, many are wondering if they should still be paying their income taxes and other government contributions like their SSS, Philhealth, and Pagibig.

The official website of the Philippine Gazette ( provides a straightforward outline of who should be paying income taxes to the government.  Below is a quick summary:

You should file your income tax return if:

  1. You are a Filipino citizen living in the Philippines, receiving income from sources within or outside the Philippines, and if –
    • You are employed by two or more employers, any time during the taxable year.
    • You are self-employed, either through conduct of trade or professional practice.
    • You are deriving mixed income.  This means you have been an employee and a self-employed individual during the taxable year.
    • You derive other non-business, non-professional related income in addition to compensation income not otherwise subject to a final tax.
    • You are married, employed by a single employer, and your income has been correctly withheld – the tax due is equal to the tax withheld – but your spouse is not entitled to substituted filing.
    • You are a marginal income earner.
    • Your income tax during the past calendar year was not withheld correctly – if the tax due is not equal to the tax withheld.
  2. You are a non-resident citizen – if you are a Filipino who works or resides abroad – receiving income from sourced within the Philippines.  (You are taxable only for the income you earn from the Philippines.)
  3. You are not a Filipino citizen but you receive income from sources within the Philippines, regardless of your residency.  (You are taxable only for the income you earn from the Philippines).

You are not required to file an income tax return, if:

  • You are a minimum wage earner.
  • Your gross income (total earned for the past year) does not exceed your total personal and additional exemptions.
  • Your income derived from a single employer does not exceed P60,000 and the income tax on which has been correctly withheld.
  • Your income has been subjected to final withholding tax.
  • You are qualified for substituted filing.

Clearly, employed Senior Citizens are not included in the income tax payment exemption unless they are minimum wage earners.

In the same manner, employed senior citizens whose SSS, Philhealth, and PagIBIG contributions are still shared with their employers must still continue paying their contributions out of their salary.  These payments shall continue to form part of their retirement and pension benefits the moment they officially retire from employment.


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03 - 16

Magandang balita!  Kung ikaw ay edad 60 years old pataas at isang Filipino citizen, ikaw ay automatic na miyembro na ng Philippine Health Insurance Corporation o Philhealth!  Maaari mo nang magamit at ma-enjoy ang iyong mga Philhealth benefits gamit lamang ang iyong Senior Citizen ID, PSA birth certificate, o ano mang ID na magpapatunay na ikaw ay edad 60 years old pataas.

Narito ang mga karagdagang impormasyon kung papano makakakuha ng Philhealth ID ang mga Senior Citizen.  Madaling lang!

May dalawang paraan ng pag enroll para makakuha ng Philhealth ID:

  1. Bulk Enrollment.
    • May listahan ng pangalan ng mga senior citizen sa isang siyudad o munisipalidad ang mga local health insurance offices ng Philhealth.  Siguraduhing nakapagpa lista kayo upang maisama kayo sa bulk enrollment.
    • Ang lahat ng qualified senior citizens (edad lang ang qualification) ay isasama sa bulk enrollment.
    • Ang inyong Philhealth IDs ay idedeliver sa Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA).
  2. Individual Enrollment
    • Requirements:
      • Duly accomplished Philhealth Member Registraton Form.
      • 1 x 1 photo taken within the last six months.
      • Senior Citizens’ ID na mula sa OSCA ng siyudad o munisipalidad kung saan nakatira ang senior citizen OR
      • Kahit na anong valid government-issued ID tulad ng Passport, Driver’s License, SSS o GSIS ID, PRC ID, Postal ID, Voter’s ID.

Kung wala pang Senior Citizen ID, mag apply na sa OSCA kung saan kayo nakatira.  Narito ang mga requirements kapag maga-apply ng Senior Citizen ID:

  1. Ihanda ang mga sumusunod na requirements:
    • PSA Birth Certificate
    • 2 pcs 1 x1 colored photo
    • Valid ID (kahit alin sa mga sumusunod: SSS, GSIS, PRC, Voter’s ID, Postal ID, Passport).
  2. Pumunta sa OSCA ng city o municipality kung saan nakatira ang Senior Citizen at i-submit ang mga requirements.
  3. Ang staff ng OSCA ang siyang maglalagay ng mga detalye sa inyong Senior Citizen ID base sa mga impormasyon sa inyong birth certificate at mga ID.
  4. Bago pirmahan ang ID card, basahing mabuti at i-confirm kung tama lahat ng impormasyong isinulat sa inyong ID, tapos ay pirmahan.

Ang ibang cities at municipalities ay nagbibigay ng one-hour orientation bago ibigay ang ID sa mga members.  Mag attend kayo nito sakaling i-require.

Kumuha na ng inyong Senior Citizen at Philhealth IDs sa pinakamalapit na OSCA sa inyong lugar!

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03 - 15

In one of our long drives to the North last December, we met a large group of travelers having a noisy lunch in a bus stopover in Pangasinan.  They were the picture of a typical Pinoy family taking a balikbayan relative and her senior expat husband on a tour to the provinces.  The mood in their area was joyful until the waitress handed their bill and the senior citizens started whipping out their SC cards; everyone, including the senior expat.

When the waitress returned with their receipt and change, she informed the group that their restaurant only honors SC IDs from Filipino citizens.  After making this announcement, she handed the senior expat’s senior citizen ID while the rest of the group sat in stunned silence.

On their way out, I heard the expat ask his Filipina wife, in straight Tagalog: “Bakit hindi nila tinanggap itong ID ko? Dual citizen ako ah!  Amerikano at Filipino!”

This got me reeling in my seat!  If the guy was Fil-Am by citizenship, then he should have been granted the SC discount!

Should alien seniors enjoy the same SC benefits granted to Pinoy seniors?

I checked on this topic and was able to confirm that alien seniors do not have senior citizen privileges in the Philippines.  Back in 2014, a couple of congressmen submitted a proposal for elderly foreigners to be granted the same benefits offered to Filipino senior citizens.  According to the lawmakers, elderly foreigners also have relevant and considerable contributions in our local economy since they bring in investments, patronize local businesses, and some take up permanent residence in the country.

The report on this proposal is yet to be updated.

Are senior citizen privileges extended to Pinoy balikbayans and residents with dual citizenship?

Yes.  The Expanded Senior Citizen’s Act of 2003 (RA No. 9257) describes “Senior Citizen or Elderly” as any Filipino citizen who is a resident of the Philippines, and who is sixty (60) years old or above.

Clearly, the discount privileges and priority in most commercial establishments are reserved to Filipino seniors.  And if we were to plainly look at the expat in that busy restaurant, with his sunburned shoulders, blue eyes, and hawk nose, he would certainly not pass for a Filipino.  And on the basis of physical appearances, he is obviously not qualified for senior citizen discounts in the country.

But what if what he was saying was true? That he has dual citizenship and has a valid Philippine Senior Citizen ID?  Was it right for that restaurant to deny him his rightful discounts?

The complete description of Senior Citizen or Elderly as stated in RA 9257 also includes the following:

It may apply to senior citizens with “dual citizenship” status provided they prove their Filipino citizenship and have at least six (6) months residency in the Philippines.” (Rule III, Article 5).

Based on this provision in RA 9257, the elderly senior at that restaurant, assuming he really has dual citizenship, should have been granted senior citizen discounts at that restaurant.

What if the elderly resident (with dual citizenship) does not have a Senior Citizen ID yet?

Still according to RA 9257, not having a Senior Citizen ID is no reason to be denied your rightful privileges.  The following IDs may be presented and the establishment should honor these IDs:

  1. An ID issued by the city or municipal mayor or of the barangay captain of the place where the senior citizen or the elderly resides;
  2. The passport of the elderly person or senior citizen concerned; and
  3. Other documents that establish that the senior citizen or elderly person is a citizen of the Republic and is at least sixty (60) years of age.” (Section 4, R.A. No. 9257).
  4. Senior Citizens’ Identification Card issued by the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) in the city or municipality where the elderly resides;
  5. The Philippine passport of the elderly person or senior citizen concerned; and
  6. Other valid documents that establish the senior citizen or elderly person as a citizen of the Republic and at least sixty (60) years of age,  which shall include but not be limited to the following government-issued identification documents indicating an elderly’s birth date or age:
    • Driver’s license
    • Voter’s ID
    • Professional Regulations Commission Card
    • Postal ID (Rule III, Article 5.5, Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA No. 9257)

Therefore, if a senior citizen seeks to be granted senior citizen privileges and is able to present any of the above-mentioned proofs, the establishment is duty-bound to grant them the discounts and privileges, regardless if the elderly does not look like he is of Filipino descent.

It is likewise important to educate operators and staff of establishments frequented by senior citizens such as pharmacies, restaurants, hotels, cinemas, and amusement centers.  Most people would easily believe that foreigners are not entitled to the same benefits that Filipinos enjoy in the country, but based on the provisions in RA 9257, this theory may not always be true.


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03 - 13

A Senior Citizen ID card holder may enjoy two free movies at cinemas in Quezon City on specific days.  When dining or buying medicines, they are granted a 20% discount off of the cost of their meals and medications.  They are also given priority seats in public transportation and are granted the best slots in parking areas.

All’s well until they find themselves lined up at grocery counters.  Most first time SC card holders are surprised to find out that the 20% discount and VAT exemption applied on certain goods and services for use and enjoyment of Senior Citizens are not applicable on grocery items.

What are the discountable goods and services mentioned in the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2000?

Our research on this topic led us back to the RA 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2000 where it is clearly emphasized that the 20% discount and VAT exemption are applicable to the charges on the following goods and services ONLY:

  1. Medicines, including the purchase of influenza and pneumococcal vaccines and such other essential medical supplies, accessories, and equipment to be determined by the Department of Health (DOH);
  2. Professional fees of attending physicians in all private hospitals, medical facilities, outpatient clinics, and home health  care services;
  3. Professional fees of licensed professional health providing home health care services as endorsed by private hospitals or employed through home health care employment agencies;
  4. Medical and dental services, diagnostic and laboratory fees in all private hospitals, medical facilities, outpatient clinics, and home health care services, in accordance with the rules and regulations to be issued by the DOH, in coordination with Philhealth;
  5. Actual fare for land transportation travel in public utility buses, public utility jeepneys, taxis, AUVs, trains;
  6. Actual transportation fare for domestic air transport services and sea shipping vessels and the like, based on the actual fare and advanced booking;
  7. Utilization of services in hotels and similar lodging establishments, restaurants, and recreation centers;
  8. Admission fees charged by theaters, cinema houses, and concert halls, circuses, leisure and amusement, and
  9. Funeral and burial services for the death of the senior citizen.

The 5% Discount on Basic Commodities

While the 20% Senior Citizen discount is not applicable on grocery items, Senior Citizens may demand for the 5% discount for certain grocery purchases that fall under the “basic necessities and prime commodities” category.

According to DTI-DA Administrative Order No. 10-02, Senior Citizens are entitled to a special discount of 5% of the regular retail price, without exemption from value-added tax, of basic necessities, such as:

  1. Rice
  2. Corn
  3. Bread (any shape and name, excluding pastries and cakes)
  4. Fresh, dried, and canned fish and other marine products
  5. Fresh pork, beef, and poultry meat
  6. Fresh eggs
  7. Fresh and processed milk
  8. Fresh vegetables including root crops
  9. Coffee and creamer
  10. Sugar
  11. Cooking oil
  12. Salt
  13. Powdered, liquid, bar laundry and detergent soap
  14. Firewood
  15. Charcoal
  16. Candles
  17. Fresh fruits
  18. Flour
  19. Dried, processed, and canned pork, beef and poultry meat
  20. Dairy products
  21. Noodles
  22. Onions
  23. Garlic
  24. Geriatric diapers
  25. Herbicides
  26. Poultry, swine, and cattle feeds
  27. Veterinary products of poultry, swine, and cattle
  28. Nipa shingle, plyboard, and construction nails
  29. Batteries
  30. Electrical supplies and light bulbs
  31. Steel wire

Can Senior Citizens avail of the 5% special discount on these items anytime?

This is where it gets a bit tricky.

When availing of the 5% special discount, the total amount of the purchase must not exceed Php 1,300 per calendar week.  The unused amount for the current week shall not be carried over to the following week.  Be reminded as well that the items must be commensurate to the personal and exclusive consumption of the senior citizen within the calendar week and that the amount allocated shall be spent on at least four (4) kinds of items only.

This is also the reason why most cities and municipalities require Senior Citizens to present, not just their IDs, but their Senior Citizen booklets as well.  This is their way of monitoring the purchases made by the Senior Citizen and if he may still avail of the 5% special discount for a particular week.


Chips And Nibblers (1)

Closet Queen



A primary requirement when applying for a passport (or renewing an old one) is the applicant’s birth certificate in Security Paper (SECPA) issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (formerly NSO) or a Certified True Copy issued by the Local Civil Registrar.  This has become an issue among senior citizens, especially those born on 1945 and earlier years.  Most, if not all, could not secure copies of their birth certificates as these were believed to have been destroyed during and after World War 2.

So how does a Senior Citizen acquire a passport if he could not produce a copy of his birth certificate?  The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) published a special set of requirements specifically for senior citizens born on or after 1950 and those born before 1950.  Read on!

A. First Time Passport Application and born in or after January 1, 1950

  • Personal appearance of senior citizen applicant.
  • Duly accomplished application form – may be downloaded from the DFA website.
  • Valid picture IDs and supporting documents to prove identity.
  • For birth record documents (in place of the PSA Birth Certificate):
    • Apply for the delayed registration of birth at the local civil registry office located at the place of birth of applicant.
    • Submit authenticated Birth Certificate from PSA and supporting public documents with correct date and place of birth (i.e. Form 137, Voter’s Registration Record, Baptismal Certificate with readable dry seal or National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) with photo and readable dry seal for Muslim applicants).

B. First Time Passport Application and born before 1950 (December 31, 1949 and earlier):

  • Personal appearance of senior citizen applicant.
  • Duly accomplished application form – may be downloaded from the DFA website.
  • Valid picture IDs and supporting documents to prove identity.
  • For birth record documents (in place of the PSA Birth Certificate):
    • Certificate of Non-availability of Record from the PSA.
    • Notarized Joint Birth Affidavit of Two Disinterested Persons.
    • Any public document/s with correct full name, date and place of birth (i.e. Baptismal Certificate with readable dry seal or NCMF Certificate with photo and readable dry seal for Muslim applicants).

Senior Citizen passport applicants do not need to secure an appointment online.  They will be accommodated anytime at any DFA branch office.

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Chips And Nibblers (1)

Closet Queen


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