Government Expands Discounts for Elderly and PWDs on Grocery Items

040822_Martin Romualdez-JGSEGUIA-House of Representatives Speaker, Martin Romualdez, discusses the economic plans of the current administration during the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry's 3rd General Membership Meeting entitled, The Legislative Agenda: Priorities and Gameplans held at the Makati Diamond Resistances, Thursday afternoon. PHOTO BY J. GERARD SEGUIA
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MANILA, Philippines: In a move to provide greater support and assistance to senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the Philippines has agreed to increase the discounts available to these individuals. Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez recently met with DTI officials, led by Undersecretary Carolina Sanchez, to discuss the expansion of discounts for senior citizens and PWDs.

Under the new agreement, the current discount of P65 per week for senior citizens and PWDs will potentially be increased to P125 per week. This increase aims to better address the rising cost of living and ensure that these individuals can afford essential goods and services. The DTI, along with the Departments of Agriculture and Energy, will issue a circular to implement the new discount, which is expected to take effect by March.

Previously, the discounts were applicable to basic goods and prime commodities such as rice, corn, bread, meat, fish, chicken, eggs, cooking oil, sugar, vegetables, fruits, onions, garlic, and fresh and processed milk (excluding medical grade milk). However, with the new agreement, the discounts will also be extended to processed meat, sardines, and even corned beef (excluding premium brands). Additionally, basic construction supplies such as cement, hollow blocks, and electrical supplies, including light bulbs, will now also be eligible for the discount.

The decision to increase the discounts for senior citizens and PWDs comes in response to the growing concern over the affordability of essential items. Speaker Romualdez highlighted the need for a higher discount, emphasizing that the current five percent discount is no longer sufficient given the rising cost of living. He expressed his delight at the forthcoming implementation of the increased discounts and commended the DTI and other agencies for their dedication and commitment to this initiative.

This development follows the signing of Republic Act 11982, also known as the expanded Centenarians act, by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. The act provides a P10,000 cash gift to elderly citizens upon reaching the age of 80 and every five years thereafter until the age of 95. Speaker Romualdez emphasized the House’s collaboration with the Marcos administration to create a more compassionate and equitable society.

The decision to increase discounts for senior citizens and PWDs is a significant step towards promoting inclusivity and supporting vulnerable members of society in the Philippines. By providing greater financial assistance and access to essential goods, the government aims to create a more caring and equitable nation. The forthcoming implementation of the increased discounts reflects the shared vision of the government and its commitment to building a society that prioritizes the well-being and needs of its citizens.

In conclusion, the decision to increase discounts for senior citizens and PWDs in the Philippines is a positive development that will provide much-needed support to these individuals. The new discounts will help alleviate the financial burden and ensure that senior citizens and PWDs can afford essential goods and services. This initiative reflects the government’s commitment to creating a more inclusive and caring society, where the needs of all citizens are met. With the forthcoming implementation of the increased discounts, the Philippines takes a step forward in building a more compassionate and equitable nation.

Source: The Manila Times

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