Discounts for senior citizens in absencia pushed

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The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, requested business establishments operating in the city to apply on purchases made by senior citizens, the lawfully mandated discount privileges under the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act, upon presentation of senior citizen’s identification (ID) card, duly signed written authorization stating their physical absence, and other required documents during the business transaction.

Under Resolution No. 360 signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, city legislators pointed out it is a public duty of the government to ensure compliance with the pertinent provisions of RA 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act, and other implementing policies governing the application of the senior citizen discount privileges by the establishments mandated to provide such discount.

The council pointed out the need for relevant government agencies and concerned offices of the city government to formally require business establishments to honor and apply the mandated 20 percent discount privileges to senior citizens purchases made without their physical presence and sufficiently established by the presentation of the senior citizens ID card and authorization letter stating, among others, the reasons for the absence and authorizing the bearer as his or her duly authorized representative in the said business transaction.

See more about statutory discounts:
Baguio businesses told to grant national athletes discounts
DSWD supports call to allow vulnerable group reps avail of discount
Bitter-sweet: National athletes get discount but loss allowance

According to the council, senior citizens are presently restricted from leaving their homes due to the government’s ‘stay at home’  regulation enforced by the national inter-agency task force for the management of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases as they belong to the vulnerable sectors of the society and most susceptible to contracting the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

City legislators disclosed alleged reports that purchases for medicine and food are not being consummated due to the reported physical absence of senior citizens in the premises of business establishments, despite the presentation of their senior citizens ID card and a letter of authority designating a trusted person to present them in the said transaction, as establishment owners assert the need for the physical presence of the senior citizen prior to the grant of the mandated discount.

Under the established health and safety protocols for the implementation of the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), individuals aged 21 and below and those persons 60 years and above, especially those with co-morbidities and underlying health conditions, are not allowed to go out of their homes to ensure that they will not contract the deadly virus.

The council tasked personnel of the City Social Welfare and Development Office to make the appropriate representation with all business establishments in the city for their respective sales counter personnel to honor and apply the mandatory 20 percent senior citizen discount privileges despite their physical absence in the place of business, provided that, the duly authorized representative can present the senior citizens ID card of the concerned elderly with a letter authorizing the bearer to conduct the business transaction with the concerned establishment.

By Dexter A. See

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