Press Release
January 20, 2010


Senator Edgardo J. Angara strongly welcomed the Senate passage on third reading last Monday of Senate Bill 3561 or the "Expanded Senior Citizens Act".

The bill, co-authored by Angara, seeks to exempt senior citizens from the 12 percent value-added tax (VAT) in goods and services. He has long been pushing for the amendment of the existing Senior Citizens Law, which he principally authored and sponsored during the 8th Congress.

"The implementation of these privileges not only helps our senior citizens in easing their daily expenses but also extending to a great extent their incentives which allow them to maximize their resource-spending. This government assistance is a way of providing social protection among the poorest of our senior citizens," Angara said.

This said bill will address the eventual irrelevance of the original 20% provision for exemption and will exempt senior citizens from EVAT, thereby giving them back the 20% discount intended for them to enjoy.

In 1992, Sen. Angara authored and sponsored the Senior Citizens Law that granted 20% discount on their purchase of goods and services, medical and dental care, transport fare, funeral and burial services, among others.

The previous law granted, among others, a 20% discount in hotels and lodging establishments, restaurants and recreation centers, purchase of medicines, laboratory tests and diagnostic services; a minimum of 20% discount in admission fees in theaters and cinemas, concert halls, and other similar places of leisure and amusement; a 20% discount in fares for domestic air and sea travels as well as in public railways, skyways and bus fares; and special discount programs on purchases of basic commodities in markets and shopping centers.

However, with the passing of the Expanded Value Added Tax (EVAT, RA 9337) in 2005, all goods and services were priced at a further 10% of their gross prices; and later in 2006 the President decreed an increase of the EVAT to 12%. As a result, senior citizens only enjoyed discounts at 8% for everything they availed.

Angara said that the senior citizens will finally be able to fully avail of the 20 percent discount that was originally envisioned for them under the Senior Citizens Act. He also vowed to continue to institute measures that will benefit the country's senior citizens.

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