Seniors, PWDs to get P500 monthly grocery discount starting March 

Cristina Chi - Philstar.com
Seniors, PWDs to get P500 monthly grocery discount starting March 
Elderly people sit before voting a polling station during the presidential election at an elementary school in Manila on May 9, 2022. Voting was underway in the Philippines on May 9 to elect a new president, with the son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos the favourite to win the high-stakes election seen by many as a make-or-break moment for the country's democracy.
AFP / Chaideer Mahyuddin

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry will raise the monthly discount cap on groceries and prime commodities for senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWD) to P500 starting March, House Speaker Martin Romualdez said on Wednesday.

The DTI is set to order the discount increase next month, raising the maximum discount for groceries and prime commodities to P125 weekly or P500 a month, Romualdez said.

Current rules allow senior citizens and PWDs to enjoy a 5% special discount on  groceries, with the total discount limited to P260 per month or P65 per week.

Romualdez, who met with DTI Undersecretary Carolina Sanchez and other officials Tuesday night, said that the department will commit to implementing the discount hike before the end of March.

Sanchez said that a joint circular from the DTI, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Energy enforcing the increase will be issued in March even as consultations with stakeholders are still ongoing.

The discount covers only basic goods and prime commodities, such as rice, corn, bread, meat, fish, chicken, eggs, cooking oil, sugar, vegetables, fruits, onions, garlic, as well as fresh and processed milk, except medical grade milk.

Also covered are manufactured goods, such as processed meat, sardines, and even corned beef, although the premium brands are not.

Senior citizens and PWDs also stand to enjoy additional discounts on basic construction supplies, like cement, hollow blocks, and electrical supplies, including light bulbs. 

Premium items, including non-essential food such as cakes and pastries, are exempted from the additional discount, Sanchez said.

This comes after a hearing by the House commitees on senior citizens, persons with disabilities and ways and means on February 13 where lawmakers urged officials to raise the discount cap on groceries in light of food inflation.

House ways and means chair Rep. Joey Salceda (Albay, 2nd District) said that when adjusted for inflation, the total discount should be around P126.31 per week.

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