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Seniors, PWDs to get P500 monthly grocery discount

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
Seniors, PWDs to get P500 monthly grocery discount
Composite photo of Senior Citizen and PWD.
Pixabay

MANILA, Philippines —  The monthly grocery discount for senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) will be increased to P500 in March.

A trade official hinted that Speaker Martin Romualdez’s request to increase the discount may be carried out next month.

“We’re working so that the usual P65 per week discount for senior citizens and PWDs may be increased to P125,” Trade Undersecretary Carolina Sanchez said, which means an increase to P500 from the current P260 monthly discount on groceries and other commodities.

Romualdez earlier sought a hike in the five percent grocery discount that seniors and PWDs enjoy weekly, currently capped at a total purchase value of P1,500 or a P65 weekly discount.

He said this is no longer appropriate, given the rising cost of living.

“I am delighted to welcome the imminent implementation of increased discounts for our senior citizens and PWDs,” he said.

Sanchez noted that while the process of consultation with stakeholders is still ongoing, the necessary inter-agency circular to implement the additional discount would likely be issued and take effect in March.

“It’s a joint issuance between the DA (Department of Agriculture), DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) and the DOE (Department of Energy),” she said.

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

Manufactured goods like processed meat, sardines and corned beef are also covered, except for premium brands.

Basic construction supplies like cement, hollow blocks and electrical supplies, including bulbs, are also covered.

Premium items, including non-essential food such as cakes and pastries, are not discounted, Sanchez noted.

Sanchez and other DTI officials met with Romualdez on Tuesday night to discuss the proposal.

Seniors will enjoy a back-to-back bonanza as President Marcos just signed into law the Expanded Centenarian Act, granting a P10,000 cash gift to citizens who reach the age of 80 and every five years until age 95, Romualdez said.

Present ID, booklet

Seniors are still required to present identification documents to avail themselves of the 20 percent discount on medicines, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In an advisory yesterday, the FDA noted that seniors must also bring a purchase slip booklet to record the over-the-counter medicines they purchased.

A doctor’s prescription for the purchase of over-the-counter medicines is no longer required, the FDA added.

The FDA previously reminded drug outlets and other establishments to enhance the implementation of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010. — Mayen Jaymalin

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