Press Release
July 6, 2010

Legarda Bill - Senior Citizens Will Have a More Comfortable Life
In their Twilight Years

Senator Loren Legarda today said the country's Senior Citizens will be having a more comfortable life due to the benefits that they will availing following the signing last week of the rules and regulations implementing Republic Act 9994, also known as Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and non-government agencies.

Legarda, principal author of RA 9994 explained that among the salient provisions of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2009 are that Senior citizens shall be granted exemption from the value-added tax (VAT) provided under the National Internal Revenue Code on the sale of goods and services from all establishments and a twenty percent discount on the following:

1. Purchase of medicines; on the professional fees of attending physicians in all private hospitals, medical facilities, and outpatient clinics; on medical and dental services, diagnostic and laboratory fees in all private hospitals and medical facilities, and outpatient clinics;

2. Actual fares for land transportation, domestic air transport services and sea shipping;

3. Utilization of services in hotels and similar lodging establishments, restaurants and recreation centers;

4. Admission fees charged by theaters, cinema houses and concert halls, circuses, carnivals and other similar places of culture, leisure and amusement. "Senior citizens who are considered minimum wage earners shall be given exemption from the payment of individual income taxes." Legarda added.

Legarda also said, "The DOH shall administer free vaccination against the influenza virus and pneumococcal disease for indigent senior citizen patients."

"Death benefit assistance of a minimum of P2,000 shall also be given to the nearest surviving relative of a deceased senior citizen."

Legarda emphasized that another of the most important provision of the Expanded Senior Act of 2009 is the activation of a "senior citizens ward" in every government hospital all over the country.

"This geriatric ward shall be for the exclusive use of senior citizens who are in need of hospital confinement by reason of their health conditions. "

Legarda concluded, "It is a tradition among us Filipinos to take care of our elder.. That is why it is very common in households that there is also a "Lolo" or a "Lola". The Constitution provides that it is the duty of the state to take care of its citizens especially those in their twilight years. I am happy to also announce that this new law also entitles indigent senior citizens identified by the DSWD to a monthly stipend amounting to one thousand five hundred pesos (P1,500) to augment their daily subsistence and other medical needs."

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