Guidelines for P500 Seniors and PWDs Discount Coming Soon

In this file photo Senior citizens of Bgy. 630 DIST. VI in Sta Mesa Manila linesup for their delayed social monthly pension because of pandemic. PHOTO BY: RENE H.
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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced that guidelines for the proposed increase in monthly discounts for senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) will be issued by the end of March. Assistant Secretary Amanda Nograles stated that a public consultation is scheduled for next week, and once the administrative order (AO) is signed by the involved department secretaries, it will be implemented immediately.

Nograles explained that after the public consultation, all comments will be collected and reconciled to create a revised joint administrative order. The aim is to provide senior citizens and PWDs with a higher monthly discount of P500, an increase from the current P260. This translates to a weekly discount of P125, compared to the previous P65.

To ensure a comprehensive and well-informed decision, the DTI will collaborate with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Energy in drafting the joint administrative order. Stakeholders will have the opportunity to review the draft AO before revisions are made based on the comments received. Once the order is signed by the secretaries of the three departments, it will be published by the end of March and implemented immediately.

Nograles also addressed concerns regarding the tax treatment of senior citizen discounts for restaurants and services. She clarified that the law specifies a 20 percent senior citizen discount for restaurants and services, which should be treated as a tax deduction. However, the law does not include the tax treatment for the 5 percent special discount on basic necessities and prime commodities.

Acknowledging the concerns raised by retailers about the tax treatment of the 5 percent special discount, Nograles informed that the DTI has officially referred the issue to the Bureau of Internal Revenue. As it falls within their mandate, the Bureau of Internal Revenue will handle the matter.

In addition to the proposed increase in discounts, Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez has suggested a 5-percent increase in discounts for senior citizens and PWDs on their weekly grocery purchases. This proposal aims to further support the welfare of senior citizens and PWDs in their essential grocery needs.

The forthcoming guidelines and revised joint administrative order will provide clarity and ensure that senior citizens and PWDs receive the increased discounts they deserve. The DTI’s efforts to address concerns about tax treatment demonstrate their commitment to facilitating fair and effective implementation.

By increasing the monthly discount from P260 to P500, the government aims to alleviate the financial burden faced by senior citizens and PWDs. This increase will enable them to save more on their grocery expenses, improving their quality of life and ensuring their basic needs are met.

The proposed increase in discounts is a positive step towards promoting inclusivity and recognizing the contributions of senior citizens and PWDs to society. It is essential to create an environment that supports and values the well-being of all individuals, regardless of age or ability.

As the guidelines and administrative order are finalized, it is crucial for stakeholders to stay informed and actively participate in the public consultation process. This will ensure that the final policies reflect the needs and concerns of the community.

In conclusion, the DTI’s commitment to issuing guidelines for increased discounts for senior citizens and PWDs demonstrates the government’s dedication to promoting inclusivity and supporting those in need. The proposed increase in discounts will provide significant financial relief to senior citizens and PWDs, allowing them to lead more fulfilling lives. By addressing concerns about tax treatment, the government aims to create a fair and transparent system that benefits all parties involved. Let us look forward to the implementation of these measures and the positive impact they will have on the lives of senior citizens and PWDs.

Source: The Manila Times

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