Cebu News

20% food discount applies to senior citizens


The 20 percent discount in restaurants and food establishments solely applies to the consumption of senior citizens.

Social Welfare and Development Secretary Esperanza Cabral made the clarification after receiving complaints from both restaurant/food shopowners and the senior citizens themselves.

In a press release, Cabral said Republic Act 9257 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act clearly stated that the 20 percent discount privilege on food purchase is for the exclusive use of the senior citizens.

The 20 percent senior citizen discount applies to the purchase of food, dessert, and other consumable items including value meals, promotional meals offered for consumption of the general public by the establishments.

All drinks and beverages on the other hand, which are deemed consumable by the senior citizen, should be entitled to the 20 percent senior citizens discount, including alcohol beverages consumed or for “take home.”

“As long as the amount of food purchase is the amount verifiably determined as exclusively for the consumption of the senior citizen and said senior citizen presented a valid Senior Citizens Identification Card, then they should be able to avail of the 20 percent discount privilege,” Cabral said.

 Cabral also cited a specific computation of the amount to be paid by the senior citizen with the value added tax on sales and services as mandated by the Bureau Internal Revenue.

If the Amount of Sale for example without the VAT is P100 minus the 20 percent sales discount privilege, the VAT-able sale is only P80.

The 12 percent VAT based on the said amount, which is P9.60, will then be added making the total amount to be paid  by the senior citizen P89.60.

Cabral said that the 20 percent discount is removed first before the 12 percent E-VAT is added onto the first amount to be paid by the senior citizens.

Furthermore, in case a group of senior and non-senior citizens dine communally in a restaurant, the following sample computation should be used as a guide — if the total bill is P500.00, excluding the service charge of four persons dining together, each person is  billed P125;

If there are two senior citizens dining in the group, their total bill is P250 multiplied by the 20 percent discount.

The group can therefore avail of a P50 discount from the total bill.

“We are illustrating the computation to avoid confusion among our senior citizens, and the eating establishments,” Secretary Cabral explained.

Considered violation of the provisions of RA 9257 in restaurants are pegging a maximum amount of food purchase subject to 20 percent discount and/or posting of notice to that effect; refusal to grant 20 percent discount on value/promotional meals, take-out/take-home, drive-thru and delivery orders; and refusal to grant a 20 percent discount for credit card payments.

Cabral said that benefits extended under RA 9257 covers only resident citizens of the Philippines who are at least 60 years old.

 Senior citizens may file complaints or charges against the restaurant and other establishments that violate the provisions of RA 9257 before the Department of Justice or the provincial, city or municipal trial courts through the assistance/help of the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs.

The OSCA is an office under the supervision of the Office of the Mayor, which works for the welfare of senior citizens and establishes linkages with accredited NGOs, POs, and the barangays relative to their plans, activities and programs for senior citizens.

Violators of the Act shall be punished accordingly. For first violation, a penalty of P50,000 to P100,000 and six months to two years imprisonment; while for subsequent violation, a fine of P100,000 to P200,000 and two to six years imprisonment.

For corporations violating RA 9257, the officials directly involved shall be held liable and the business permit, permit to operate, franchise and other privileges may be cancelled or revoked.

On the other hand, any person who abuses the privileges granted herein shall also be punished with a fine of not less than P5,000 but not more than P50,000, and imprisonment of not less than six months. — Ferliza C. Contratista/MEEV


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