The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance penalizing drug stores and establishments not recognizing other government-issued identification cards for granting senior citizen discounts in the city.
Under the proposed ordinance authored by Councilor Isabelo Cosalan, Jr., pertinent provisions shall apply to all business establishments, including drug stores, that grant senior citizen discounts within the city.
The ordinance stipulated that all business establishments shall recognize other government-issued identification cards such as Philippine passport or driver’s license, voter’s ID, unified multipurpose ID and postal ID, among others, as valid proof of age and eligibility for senior citizens discounts.
Any establishment found violating the pertinent provisions of the proposed measure shall be fined P2,000 for the first offense, a fine of P3,000 for the second offense and a fine of P5,000 for the third offense.
Further, the erring establishments shall be required to submit a written explanation to the Office of the City Mayor within 48 hours after the receipt of the notice of violation stating the valid reason for not honoring other government-issued IDs in the grant of the required discounts to senior citizens.
The ordinance tasked the City Social Welfare and Development office to review and monitor the implementation of the measure.
According to the proposed measure, it is the responsibility of all establishments to recognize and honor government-issued IDs to ensure that senior citizens get the benefits to which they are entitled.
Republic Act (RA) 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 grants senior citizens privileges and benefits, including a 20-percent discount on their purchases from all establishments, including drug stores and medical and dental services.
Under the implementing rules and regulations of the aforesaid law, the identification document refers to any document or proof of being a senior citizen which may be used for the availment of benefits and privileges under the law and its rules.
Further, it shall be any of the of the government-issued IDs, such as seniors ID card issued by the Office of the Senior citizens Affairs (OSCA) in the city or municipality where the elderly resides, the Philippine passport of the elderly or senior citizen concerned and other valid documents that establishes the senior citizen’s as a citizen of the country and at least 60 years of age, which shall include but not be limited to the other government-issued identification documents indicating an elderly’s birthdate or age such as driver’s license, voter’s ID, SSS or GSIS ID, PRC card, and postal ID.
Earlier, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) affirmed that failure to present a senior citizen’s ID card issued by the office of Senior Citizens Affairs is not a ground for non-availment of discount privileges under the law.