Senior Citizen’s Rights and Privileges in the Philippines
In honor of my dear grandfather who passed away two days ago, I’d like to share this article to all the senior citizens and to everyone who has senior citizens in their household.
Senior citizens are entitled to many benefits and privileges, but not all of them are aware of these. Aside from what the government offers, there are also other privileges that are provided for them depending on the city or place where they are registered.
For example in Makati City, I heard that their local government gives out cakes to senior citizens on their birthdays. In Quezon City, where we live, my parents and in-laws who are also senior citizens, get to avail of discounts in restaurants and even watch movies for free at the cinema houses on certain schedules.
Republic Act No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, grants several rights and privileges to senior citizens.
SEC. 4. of this law enumerates all the Privileges for the Senior Citizens, but I only picked some of them.
- 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
- 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).
- professional fees of attending physician/s in all private hospitals, medical facilities, outpatient clinics and home health care services.
- medical and dental services, diagnostic and laboratory fees in all private hospitals, medical facilities, outpatient clinics, and home health care services
- 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)
- actual transportation fare for domestic air transport services and sea shipping vessels
- utilization of services in hotels and similar lodging establishments, restaurants and recreation centers
- admission fees charged by theaters, cinema houses and concert halls, circuses, leisure and amusement
- funeral and burial services for the death of senior citizens
- Minimum of five percent (5%) discount relative to the monthly utilization of water and electricity supplied by the public utilities, provided that:
- The individual meters for the foregoing utilities are registered in the name of the senior citizen residing therein;
- The monthly consumption does not exceed one hundred kilowatt hours (100 kWh) of electricity and thirty cubic meters (30 m3) of water; and
- The privilege is granted per household regardless of the number of senior citizens residing therein.
- 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
- DOH shall administer free vaccination against the influenza virus and pneumococcal disease for indigent senior citizen patients
- Provision of express lanes for senior citizens in all commercial and government establishments; in the absence thereof, priority shall be given to them
- 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.
We were deeply saddened by the sudden death of my grandfather, who died at the age of 92, less than two months before he turns 93 in August. He reached that age without showing any form of sickness or weakness. He walks at least half kilometer daily and he can still perform our traditional dance, “Kuratsa” very gracefully. He was still strong and healthy. He gives importance to his health because he believes that it’s a gift from God, and that was exactly his last advice to us, his grandchildren, when we had our conversation last month — that we all should take good care of our health and never abuse our body, so that we can also reach his age as healthy and strong as he was. The only time I knew Lolo was brought to the hospital was when he had his cataract surgery four years ago, which he had for free because he was a senior citizen…
I’m not a lawyer and I’m not affiliated with any Government Office. This article is for information purposes only and was taken from the sources stated above. Should you have questions or clarifications about this law or any of the priviliges stated here, you may contact the Office of the Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA) directly.