Rep. Mark Go urged the Department of Health (DOH) to discontinue the implementation of the ‘purchase slip booklet’ as a mandatory requirement to be able to avail of the 20 percent senior citizen’s discount on medicines and other related goods.
Go, who earlier filed House Resolution No. 1263 that strongly urged DOH to discontinue the implementation of the ‘purchase slip booklet’ as a mandatory requirement in availing of the prescribed 20 percent senior citizen’s discount on medicines and other related goods, stated that the elderly are having difficulties availing of the said discount in purchasing medicines and goods because they still need to present the ‘purchase slip booklet’ for every transaction.
He added that there has also been confusion with existing DOH guidelines on the mater, citing the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7432 otherwise known as the Senior citizens Act and its amendments RA 9257 and RA 9994 otherwise known as the Expanded Senior citizens Act of 2003 and 2010 that granted senior citizens a 20 percent discount from all transport services, hotels, lodging establishments, restaurants, recreation centers and medicines.
In 2010, the DOH issued Administrative Order (AO) 2010-0032, providing the guidelines to implement the 20 percent discount on the sale of medicine. It stated that the purchase slip booklet is one of the mandatory documentary requirements that a senior citizen shall present to any hospital or medicine retail outlet to avail of the 20 percent discount.
However, in 2012, another administrative order was issued by DOH, AO 2012-0007, also providing guidelines on the grant of 20 percent discount to senior citizens on health-related goods and services. In this AO, the requirements to avail of the 20 percent discount does not include the purchase slip booklet.
“There is an urgent need to clarify the matter and to discontinue the implementation of the purchase slip booklet as a mandatory requirement to avail the 20 percent discount to prevent further burden to our senior citizens,” Rep. Go said.
Earlier, the Baguio City passed a resolution urging Congressman Go to file the necessary legislation in Congress that seeks to introduce the needed amendments to existing laws, rules and regulations governing the implementation of the pertinent provisions of the senior citizens law to relax the rule on the use of the ‘purchase slip booklet’ as a mandatory requirement when senior citizens transact business with drug stores and other establishments in the purchase of their medicines and other related goods.
The said resolution was passed following the repeated complaints from the city’s elderly on the alleged refusal of drug stores and other establishments to grant the senior citizens the prescribed 20 percent senior citizens discount when they are not able to present their issued ‘purchase slip booklet’ when purchasing medicines and other related goods from various establishments in the city.
The council argued that the appropriate intervention that should be done on the said matter is the filing of the appropriation legislation by Congressman Go in Congress to be able to iron out whatever conflicts that are caused by the pertinent provisions of existing laws and subsequent guidelines that were issued to ensure the smooth implementation of the law.