Press Release
July 2, 2010

Pia urges new BIR, DSWD, DOH, DBM chiefs:
Prioritize implementation of 'Expanded Senior Citizens Act'

Senator Pia S. Cayetano today urged the newly appointed secretaries of key agencies tasked to enforce the "Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010" (RA 9994) to prioritize the issuance of their respective guidelines to enable the elderly to reap the various benefits due them under the new law.

Cayetano made the appeal as the new set of cabinet secretaries appointed by President Benigno Aquino III take over from their predecessors and buckle down to work.

"Our lolos and lolas have been eagerly waiting for the benefits, especially their exemption from the 12% value added tax (VAT) which would allow them to fully enjoy the 20% senior citizens discount," said Cayetano, principal sponsor of RA 9994 which was enacted last February.

"I hope the new law gets the attention it deserves from the agencies primarily tasked to enforce it, including the Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Budget and Management (DBM)," she added.

She particularly called on the BIR, now headed by Commissioner Kim Henares, to expedite the issuance of revenue guidelines that will govern all commercial establishments in the reporting and invoicing of the senior citizens discount and VAT exemption under RA 9994.

The law's Internal Rules and Regulations (IRR) was approved on June 17 and will be deemed effective next week, on July 6. But the IRR also gives the BIR another 30 days, or until August, to come up with revenue guidelines in applying the full 20% discount to senior citizens' purchases, which will now be VAT-free.

Under the IRR, other benefits for senior citizens under RA 9994 will also be subject to several tiers of conditions:

  • Medical and health related privileges shall be subject to the guidelines by DOH and DILG within 30 days from effectivity of the IRR;

  • Discounts on electric and water utilities shall be subject to guidelines by the Energy Regulatory Commission, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and Local Water Utilities Administration six months from effectivity of the IRR;

  • Monthly social pension of P500 for indigent senior citizens shall be subject to availability of funds, pending the release of the DSWD budget by DBM. This is subject to review every two years by Congress in consultation with the DSWD;

  • P2,000 death assistance intended for indigent senior citizens will still be identified based on DSWD guidelines.

"I hope the concerned agencies under their new leadership would not have to wait out for the deadline before carrying out their respective tasks under the IRR. Our senior citizens have waited long enough, and should not be made to wait unnecessarily much longer," she stressed.

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