By Ben Cal, PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian
A Quezon City government official has reminded business establishments, particularly supermarkets, making their own interpretation of the law as provided for under Republic Act No. 9257 granting a five percent discount to senior citizens in the purchase of basic necessities and prime commodities.
Atty. Rene Altuna, legal officer at the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) of the Quezon City Hall, issued the reminder following complaints that some establishments refused to give the standard discount to senior citizens after they had made an initial purchase for the week in the amount less than the allowed P1,300 for one week’s purchase.
Altuna explained to the Philippines News Agency on Friday that under R.A. 9257, otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003, a senior citizen is entitled to a five percent discount for the purchase of canned goods, coffee, bread, sugar, cooking oil, frozen meat, vegetables, powdered milk, liquid, laundry bar and detergent soap, not exceeding a total of P1,300 a week.
However, Cherry Foodarama along Congressional Road in Quezon City appears to have its own interpretation of the law that once a senior citizen buys prime commodity, even if worth only P61 for a particular week and way below the allowed limit, it considers the senior citizen has already availed of the entire discount for that week.
Altuna said that is not the case, adding that a senior citizen is still entitled to the five percent discount on that particular week until he accumulates the total amount allowed under R.A. 9257.
Under Section 4 of the Administrative Order No. 37, Series of 2005, it says that “to avail of the discount, a senior citizen must present his/her identification card issued by OSCA of the city/municipality where he/she resides in the event that the retailer has reasonable doubt as to identity of a senior citizen availing such special discount, the retailer may request the senior citizen to present any other government-issued identification document, whether national or local.”