Last Updated on July 29, 2022 by Marie Bautista
Are Senior Citizens and Persons with Disabilities (PWD) in the Philippines entitled to a Discount on their Online/Phone Call/SMS Purchases?
Digital technology has opened up new possibilities for sellers and customers to access goods and services via the internet. During the COVID-19 epidemic, individuals in vulnerable groups such as the elderly and persons with disabilities became reliant on the internet, phone, and mobile devices for their most basic requirements since they were unable to travel due to mobility limitations.
To ensure and require persons and business establishments to comply with existing relevant rules and guidelines, particularly on the grant of Senior Citizen and Persons with Disability discounts mandated by law on the purchase of covered goods and services using the digital/online platforms, JOINT MEMORANDUM (JMC) No. 01-Series of 2022 between Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC), National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), Department of Health (DOH), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)was issued.
Privileges of Senior Citizens and Persons with Disabilities:
|Privilege||Goods and Services||Senior Citizens||Persons with Disability|
|Medicines and medical supplies subject to DOH Administrative Order No. 2012-007 as amended|
|Professional fees of attending physician/s in all private hospitals, medical facilities, outpatient clinics, and home health care services||✔||✔|
|Professional fees of licensed professional health providing home health care services||✔||✔|
|Medical and dental services, diagnostic and laboratory fees in all private hospitals, medical facilities, outpatient clinics, and home health care services||✔||✔|
|Actual fare for land transportation travel in public utilities, including domestic air transport services and sea shipping vessels and the like||✔||✔|
|Utilization of services in hotels and similar lodging establishments, restaurants, and recreation centers||✔||✔|
|Admission fees charged by theaters, cinema houses and concert halls, circuses, leisure and amusement||✔||✔|
|Food, drinks, desserts and other consumable food items||✔||✔|
|5% special discount||Basic Necessities||✔||✔|
|5% special discount||Prime Commodities||✔||✔|
Definition of Terms (Under Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC 01, Series of 2022):
- Basic Necessities – refers to goods vital to the needs of consumers for their sustenance and existence.
- Business establishments – refers to all business entities and sellers that provide or offer goods and services enumerated in R.A. Nos. 9994, 10754, and 7581, as amended and its respective Implementing rules and Regulations (IRR), to consumers using ecommerce or through telephone or mobile phone.
- E-Commerce (also known as electronic commerce) – refers to the production, distribution, marketing, sale, purchase, or delivery of goods and services via electrical means.
- Goods and Services – refers to items or products or services specifically mandated by law, including necessities and prime commodities, to be granted discount upon purchase by the Senior Citizens and Persons with disability for their personal consumption, use, and enjoyment.
- Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) – refers to the office established in cities and municipalities under the Office of the Mayor headed by a Senior Citizen that will assist Senior Citizens in their concerns relative to their welfare, including the rights and privileges provided by law.
- Persons with Disability – refers to a person suffering from restriction of different abilities. as a result of a mental, physical or sensory impairment, to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being. It shall also include individuals within the definition of Persons with Rare Diseases, as provided under Section 10 of R.A. No. 10747, and Cancer Patients, as provided under Section 25 of R.A. No. 11215.
- Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) – refers to the office created in every province, city, and municipality operating under the Office of the Local Chief Executive who shall manage and oversee the programs, projects and activities/services related to persons with disabilities.
- Person with Disability ID – refers to an identification card issued by the Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) or the City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (C/MSWDO) of the place where the person with disability resides, or the identification card issued by the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA)
- Purchase – refers to the act of ordering, buying, and paying Goods and Services through online or phone platforms, or other electronic or digital means.
- Prime Commodities – refers to goods not considered as basic necessities but are essential to consumers
- Senior Citizens – refers to any Filipino citizen who is a resident of the Philippines, and who is sixty (60) years old or above.
- Senior Citizen ID – refers to an identification card issued by the OSCA at the place where the Senior Citizen resides to prove their entitlement. The identification card issued by the particular OSCA or relevant government agency shall be honored nationwide
- Third-party service providers – refers to an outsourced service provider that may deliver or provide the goods and services purchased or availed of by the Senior Citizen or Persons with Disability (PWD). It shall also include electronic markets where business establishments may conduct e-commerce.
If a Senior Citizen or Person with Disability (PWD) avail of an item/service already on promotional discount, can he still avail of his Senior Citizen/PWD Discount?
The Senior Citizen or the Person with Disability can avail of the establishment’s offered discount, as permitted by DOG, DTI, or other appropriate government agencies, or the 20% VAT exemption or the 5% special discount provided herein, whichever is higher/more favorable and applicable.
What if the buyer or customer is both a Senior Citizen and a Person with Disability?
In cases wherein the buyer or customer is both a Senior Citizen and a Person with Disability, he/she shall be entitled only to a single 20% discount, with VAT exemption, or 5% special discount whichever is applicable under his/her valid Senior Citizen ID or Person with Disability ID.
What are Basic Necessities and Prime Commodities?
- All kinds and variants of rice
- All kinds of bread (Pastries and Cakes not included)
- Fresh, dried, and canned fish and other marine products (including frozen and in various modes of packaging)
- Fresh pork, beef, and poultry meat
- All kinds of fresh eggs (excluding quail eggs)
- Potable water in bottles and containers
- Fresh and processed milk (excluding milk labeled as food supplement)
- Fresh vegetables including root crops
- Fresh Fruits
- Locally manufactured instant noodles
- Coffee and Coffee creamer
- All kinds of sugar (excluding sweetener)
- All kinds of cooking oil
- Powdered, liquid, bar laundry, and detergent soap
- All kinds of candles
- Household liquefied petroleum gas, not more than 11 kgs, LPG content once every five (5) months bought from LPG dealers; and
- Kerosene, not more than 2 liters per month
- Dried, processed and canned pork, beef and poultry meat
- Dairy products not falling under Section 1 (a) of the DTI-DA-DOE JAO
- Onions and garlic
- Vinegar, patis, and soy sauce
- Toilet/Bath soap
- Poultry feeds, livestock feeds and fishery feeds
- Veterinary products
- Paper, school supplies
- Nipa shingle
- Cement, Clinker, GI sheets
- Hollow Blocks
- Construction nails
- Batteries (excluding cellphone and automotive batteries)
- Electrical supplies and light bulbs
- Steel wires
- Drugs identified as “essential” and “not essential” shall be considered as “Basic Necessities” and “Prime Commodities”, respectively. However, for purposes of determining the right statutory discount, the Senior Citizen or Person with Disability shall be granted the flat discount of 20% as provided by law.
- The total amount of offline and online purchase of Senior Citizens and Persons with Disability per calendar week SHALL NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT OF ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED PESOS (PHP 1,300) without carry-over of the unused amount, unless otherwise increased, as determined by the DTI and other relevant agencies.
The said amount shall be spent on the above-mentioned commodities commensurate to his/her personal and exclusive and/or enjoyment within the calendar, provided the said amount shall be spent on at least four (4) items identified as BASIC NECESSITIES OR PERSONAL COMMODITIES.
HOW CAN A SENIOR CITIZEN AND PERSON WITH DISABILITY AVAIL OF 20% AND 5% SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR ONLINE PURCHASES?
A Senior citizen or a Person with Disability shall be entitled to the grant of 20% discount and 12% VAT-exempt of their purchase of goods and services; and 5% special discount for basic necessities and prime commodities for their exclusive use and enjoyment.
General guidelines to avail of of Senior Citizen/PWD Discount on Online Purchases in the Philippines:
- The Senior Citizen must present his/her Senior Citizen ID issued by the OSCA in the city or municipality where the senior citizen resides, or any Government-issued ID, which reflects the name, picture, date of birth and nationality of the senior citizen, and other pertinent requirements.
- If a purchaser is a child with disability, the parents have the full authority to purchase the product for their child and must only present the ID.
- On the purchase of group meals, the basis of the 20% discount for a Senior Citizen and Person with Disability shall be on the amount corresponding to the combination of the most expensive and biggest single serving meal with beverage served in a quick service restaurant, is deemed flexible and is adjusted accordingly by food establishments to estimate a single food purchase for an individual Senior Citizen and Person with Disability.
- In case of multiple number of Senior Citizens or Persons with Disability in one transaction, the Senior Citizens or Persons with Disability are required to inform the business establishment of such fact in order to grant their individual privilege discount, as long as applicable. Provided that, the total bill shall be divided according to the number of people to determine actual consumption of the individual Senior Citizen or Persons with Disability entitled to the 20% discount.
- The statutory discount provided by law shall be observed by business establishments regardless of who is the source of payment or mode of payment, provided that the goods and services are the exclusive use of the Senior Citizen or Person with Disability.
Can a Senior Citizen or Person with Disability claim his/her 20% discount on purchases of goods/services through the internet or online platform?
- The Senior Citizen or Person with Disability must, prior to placement of order, declare to the online platform that he/she is a Senior Citizen or a Person with Disability. Upon the confirmation of the order, the Senior Citizen or Person with Disability must provide/attach a scanned copy/screenshot or image of his/her ID.
- In addition, the following shall also be attached by the Senior Citizen or the Person with Disability upon placement of the order:
- For purchases of medicines:
- copy of the medical prescription
- copy of the front page and last entry page of the Senior Citizen/Person with Disability purchase booklet
- For purchases of basic necessities and prime commodities:
- copy of the front page and last entry page of the Senior Citizen/Person with Disability purchase booklet for commodities.
- For purchases of medicines:
- Upon delivery of the goods/orders or performance of the service purchased through the online platform, the Senior Citizen or the Person with Disability, or his/her duly authorized representative, shall present the original copy of the Senior Citizen or the Person with Disability proof of entitlement which was attached during the confirmation of his/her order together with the authorization letter, if applicable.
- In the event that upon delivery of the goods/orders or performance of the service, the Senior Citizen, Person with Disability, or his/her authorized representative failure to present the Senior Citizen/Person with Disability ID, or any government issued ID, as proof of discount entitlement and authorization letter, if applicable, the concerned platform/merchant may charge the Senior Citizen and the Person with Disability the full amount of the goods/orders or service.
What if Senior Citizen/Person with Disability purchases through the telephone or mobile phone call? Is he entitled to the 20% discount?
- The Senior Citizen or Person with Disability must upon placement of order provide his/her name, date of birth, and the ID number.
- The business establishment shall exert effort and ask the customer if he/she is a Senior Citizen and/or Person with Disability.
- After completing the order, the business establishment shall apply the appropriate discount to the price of the goods or services for the consumption of the Senior Citizen or Person with Disability.
- Upon delivery of the goods/orders or performance of the service, the Senior Citizen or Person with Disability proof of entitlement together with the authorization letter, if applicable, to the business establishment representative or its third-party service provider.
- In the event that upon delivery of the goods/orders or performance of the service purchased through phone call/mobile call, the Senior Citizen and Person with Disability or his/her authorized representative failure to present the Senior Citizen or Person with Disability ID, or any government issued ID, as proof of discount entitlement and authorization letter, if applicable, the concerned platform/merchant may charge the Senior Citizen and Person with Disability the full amount of goods/orders or services.
Who is a Senior Citizen / PWD’s Authorized Representative?
- The Senior Citizen/Person with Disability can authorize any person of his/her choosing through an authorization letter duly signed by the senior citizen/person with disability.
- At the time of the purchase of the goods and services, the online merchants and vendors shall verify the information presented to establish the relationship of the authorized representative to the Senior Citizen and Persons with Disability. The authorized representative before claiming or paying the goods and/or services must present the following documents:
|Documents||Medicine and/or Medical supplies||Food, drinks, desserts, and other consumable items||Basic Necessities and Prime Commodities|
|OSCA/Person with Disability ID, or any other government ID that may establish their circumstance(s)||✔||✔||✔|
|Senior Citizen/Person with Disability Purchase Booklet||✔||✔||✔|
|Authorization Letter/ID of the Representative||✔||✔||✔|
In case of the absence of any of the above documents at the time of the purchase of the goods and services, the business establishment or the third-party service provider has the right to refuse to release the goods to the authorized representative.
In cases where the Person with Disability is a minor, the parent or guardian shall be the automatic representative of the minor without the need of any authorization letter. However, the parent or guardian must clearly establish their identity and relationship with the minor.
Pick-up of goods purchased by a Senior Citizen / PWD through e-commerce or phone/mobile
In cases where the business establishment or third-party service provider offers a “pick-up” option on purchased goods, the business establishment and the third-party service provider shall charge the Senior Citizen and Person with Disability the discounted price. Provided that, these goods were purchased through the means covered in the Joint Memorandum Circular.
In case the payment of the goods will be done physically and directly to the business establishment, the amount charges must be discounted in accordance with the existing BIR rules.
The business establishments shall have the right to act on any abuse, misrepresentations, falsification, or any other acts contrary to law on the availment of the Senior Citizen or Person with Disability discount by blocking or suspending the account or name of the erring person. The business establishment may additionally file the appropriate administrative or court case, as they may seem fit.
Businesses covered may reconfigure their business and delivery system/websites/applications to have a provision whereby the Senior Citizen or Person with Disability will be able to avail his/her statutory discount, such as but not limited to the following:
- Senior Citizen and the Person with Disability can send a copy of their Senior Citizen or Person with Disability Id; or
- Discount Voucher /Codes: The applicable discounts may be granted upon the use of discount vouchers or codes, whether physical or electronic, issued by the covered seller, merchant, business establishment and/or utility provider reflecting the applicable discount. Provided that, the discount voucher shall not be lower than what is prescribed.
In case the online system devised by the business establishment is unavailable, it shall provide an alternate manual process to properly recognize and honor the privileges granted to Senior Citizens and Persons with Disabilities.
Any individual or business establishment who fails or refuses to observe the statutory discount afforded to Senior Citizens and Person with Disability may be held liable for the penalties provided by law.
The following procedures shall be observed:
Assistance in complaint handling
All complaints for failure or refusal to observe the statutory privilege shall be subjected to a mediation procedure with the OSCA or PDAO, as the case may be.
In the absence of OSCA/PDAP, the complaints shall be handled directly by the Local Social Welfare and Development Office (LSWDO). In addition, the OSCA, PDAO, or LSWDO shall be obliged to assist the complainant in the case (i.e., preparing, filing, and monitoring), until its final resolution. Provided that, this assistance shall be observed should the case be escalated to the Office of the Prosecutor or the Courts.
The complainant may choose to file the complaint with OSCA/PDAO or the LSWDO (collectively herein referred to as the “receiving office”) of the place where the complainant resides, or where the business establishment is located.
Upon receipt of the complaint, the receiving office shall review the complaint and invite the representative of the business establishment or serving branch, if known, for a mediation. In cases where the serving branch is unknown, the receiving office shall invite any representatives from the principal office of the business establishment for mediation.
The receiving office shall exhaust all possible means to amicably settle the issue, and to ensure the observance of the respondent to observe the privileges granted to Senior Citizens or Persons with Disabilities.
In case the respondent refuses to observe the privileges granted to Senior Citizens or Persons with Disabilities, the receiving office shall terminate the mediation proceeding and file the necessary complaint, or assist the Senior Citizen or Person with Disability in filing a complaint, before the Office of the Prosecutor, without prejudice to the right of the LGU to revoke the license or permit granted to them and to impose any penalties or fines and provided by local ordinances, if any.
Further, in cases where the respondent has been a subject of a third complaint, the matter shall be automatically escalated for filing of case before the Office of the Prosecutor, without the need of meditation, without prejudice to the right of the LGU to revoke the license or permit granted to them and to impose any penalties or fines as provided by local ordinances, if any.
In cases where the servicing branch is not within the jurisdiction of the receiving office, the latter shall submit its finding and recommendation to the appropriate LGU for administrative action or imposition of penalty or fine.
National Agency Information
The receiving office shall be responsible in ensuring that the NCSC or NCDA, as the case may be, are copy furnished of all complaints forwarded to any other government national agency.
Complaint received at the National Level
Any complaint for non-observance of the privileges provided by law received by any national government agency (eg. DTI, DSWD, DILG, DOH, NCDA, or NCSC) shall be referred to the concerned OSCA, PDAO, or LSWDO, whichever is applicable.
Filing before the Department of Justice
As a general rule, all complaints that failed in mediation shall warrant the filing of the appropriate complaint with the Prosecutor’s Office. Provided that the respondent is within the territorial jurisdiction of the OSCA, PDAO, or LSWDO. In cases where the respondent is outside the jurisdiction of the OSCA, PDAO, or LSWDO, or the appropriate venue cannot be determined, the complaint will be filed before the Department of Justice as provided by Section 6 of RA 7432, as amended, and Section 44 of RA No. 7277, as amended.
Training and uniformity of procedure.
The DILG, in coordination with other government agencies, shall conduct the necessary training of the OSCA, PDAO, or LSWDO personnel assigned to handle complaints for the proper knowledge transfer or complaint handling and informing them of the complaint handling procedures observed by the National Government.
The OSCA, PDAO, and LSWDO can adapt any means or modes to conduct the mediation or hearing, provided that the same was duly approved by its Local Chief Executive. Both parties should be properly informed of the proceedings and are given the opportunity to raise their defense or position on the allegation, in writing or verbally.
Who to contact:
Queries on JMC 01 , S. 2022 or the law:
All other concerns regarding consumer protection – email DTI at email@example.com
For tax matters, email Costumer Assistance Division at firstname.lastname@example.org, BIR hotline 85383200, or chat with REVIE (chatbot) at the BIR website.
Any covered person or business which refuses to grand the discount on the online/telephone/mobile purchase of eligible Senior Citizens of Person with Disabilities shall be liable in accordance with R.A. Nos. 9994 and 7277, as amended, including its IRR.
It shall also be unlawful for persons to misrepresent himself/herself as Senior Citizen or Person with Disability. To this end, the person who misrepresents himself/herself as Senior Citizen or Person with Disability may be penalized under the Revised Penal Code, applicable special Penal Laws. or any other applicable laws.
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