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Speaker: Probe firms refusing senior, PWD discount

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
Speaker: Probe firms refusing senior, PWD discount
“Laws granting benefits to senior citizens and PWDs (persons with disability) should be strictly implemented and followed. If there are instances of the improper grant of these privileges, it becomes the common practice. So it cannot remain unchecked,” Romualdez said.
STAR / Miguel De Guzman, file

MANILA, Philippines — The refusal of a hotel in Pasig City to give a senior citizen a 20-percent discount prompted yesterday Speaker Martin Romualdez to look into business establishments violating the law.

“Laws granting benefits to senior citizens and PWDs (persons with disability) should be strictly implemented and followed. If there are instances of the improper grant of these privileges, it becomes the common practice. So it cannot remain unchecked,” Romualdez said.

The House of Representatives has received reports that such incidents are not limited to the elderly but also happen to PWDs.

Senior citizens and PWDs are entitled to a 20-percent discount in restaurants, transportation and other services.

Romualdez sought an investigation into violations of Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 and RA 10754, otherwise known as an Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of PWDs.

“Many of our senior citizens and PWDs have questions. So we will give them this opportunity when Congress starts the probe,” he said.

Among the violations was the reported policy of a popular coffee shop limiting the 20-percent discount and exemption from the 12 percent value-added tax to only one food item and one drink per visit for seniors and PWDs.

The Pasig City prosecutor’s office charged the hotel’s president and finance director for refusing to grant a 20-percent discount to a senior citizen.

They are facing complaints for violating Section 4 (a) (7) of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act and Article 116 of RA 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines.

“Violations of laws granting benefits to senior citizens and PWDs are trending topics on social media these past few months. It is high time that the House review the implementation of these laws and find out if business establishments are complying with every provision,” Romualdez said.

Romualdez was the principal author of the law expanding the benefits and privileges of PWDs.

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PASIG CITY

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