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Complete Guide to Senior Citizen Discount and Benefits

There are numerous reasons to celebrate your 60th birthday. More time to spend with family and friends, your long-awaited retirement from work with cash lump sums, a guaranteed monthly pension, and a slew of other benefits once you reach your sixties.

People are considered senior citizens if they are 65 years old or older. To be considered a “senior citizen age” in the Philippines, you must be 60 years old or older and a resident of the country. This also applies to senior citizens with dual citizenship, as long as they can show proof of their Filipino citizenship and have lived in the country for at least 6 months.

The government provides many benefits to senior citizens due to limited employment opportunities, in addition to their contributions to the country and society. Now that their activities are more limited, it is up to society to look after them.

In the Philippines, there are numerous programs for senior citizens. The following information will help you take advantage of the benefits available to senior citizens in the Philippines:

The Expanded Senior Citizen Act of 2010

Even if you are still a few years away from reaching your sixties, it is worthwhile to learn about the numerous benefits available to senior citizens in the Philippines. You can use it as a foundation for long-term goals or when caring for your parents or grandparents.

The Republic Act 9994, also known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, defines the rights and privileges of all senior citizens in the Philippines. According to the law, Filipino senior citizens must be provided with benefits and privileges in order to support their well-being and improve their welfare in their later years of life.

In the Philippines, senior citizens receive a 20% discount on all purchases and are exempt from paying value-added tax (VAT) on specific items and services that they will only use.

A comprehensive health care and rehabilitation system that is covered by PhilHealth will be made available to seniors as well, benefiting those with disabilities and health issues in particular. According to RA 10645, all pensioners must also be covered by the national health insurance program offered by Philhealth.

Senior citizens are entitled to certain medical benefits, such as free vaccinations, medications, medical supplies, and dental care in both public and private healthcare facilities.

Additionally, senior citizens will be given discounts on transportation costs, lodging costs, dining establishments, leisure pursuits, and funeral services. Even utility bills for things like electricity and water can be discounted for them!

Senior citizens in the Philippines are also entitled to priority lanes in public and private establishments, financial aid for education, exemptions from income tax and training fees, and retirement benefits. Depending on their budget, some local government entities even provide pensioners with a monthly allowance.

The House of Representatives passed a resolution in January 2022 that will award senior citizens Php 25,000 when they turn 80, Php 100,000 when they turn 100, and Php 1,000,000 when they turn 101.

What is a Senior Citizen or OSCA ID?

You have now received a brief introduction to the advantages given to senior citizens in the Philippines. But how can you or a loved one apply for the senior citizen ID, the one document that will serve as proof of your senior status?

You or a loved one must be 60 years of age or older, a Philippine citizen, and a resident of the city or municipality where you are applying for at least six months in order to be eligible for a senior citizen ID here in the Philippines. A 1×1 photo and an ID are also required.

You must first gather the necessary documentation and visit your local Office of Senior Citizen Affairs to apply for a senior citizen ID (OSCA). After completing the application, submit it, and wait for your senior citizen card to arrive,

Congratulations once you have your senior citizen card! You can now use this senior citizen ID to get discounts and freebies from businesses!

Keep in mind that if you can’t show your ID, some businesses may refuse to give you a senior discount, so always keep it on you! To receive your discount, you may use any legitimate ID, even if you forgot your senior citizen ID at home.

A passport, SSS UMID card, GSIS ID, driver’s license, voter’s license, or postal ID are all acceptable forms of identification that establishments will accept.

Double discounts are also not permitted. This means that if something is on sale, you can only use your senior citizen discount or the current promotion.

Additionally, if you are unable to go shopping for your necessities, a designated agent may claim the 20% discount on your behalf! Your senior citizen ID, any government ID, the OSCA Purchase Booklet, and your representative’s ID must be presented by your representative along with the signed authorization letter from you.

How to compute the Senior Citizen discount?

You must subtract the value-added tax (VAT) from the cost of the good or service in order to calculate the senior citizen discount. The VAT-exempt amount should then be reduced by 20%. The billable amount can then be calculated following that.

Senior Citizen Discount on Medicines

You can use your senior citizen card to buy both generic and name-brand medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements as long as you have a valid prescription. Even medical equipment and supplies like dentures, wheelchairs, crutches, and eyeglasses are discounted and exempt from the VAT.

You are allowed to ask your doctors and other qualified health professionals for a discount if you need to get a medical or dental checkup.

You can feel relieved knowing that you will receive a discount for any laboratory tests you may need to have, including blood tests and X-rays.

Your neighborhood health center may also offer you free checkups and vaccinations, as appropriate. For instance, pharmacies like Mercury Drug offer free influenza or pneumococcal vaccinations to senior citizens. Simply present an authorization letter to make the purchase on the senior citizen’s behalf if the senior cannot leave the house to buy these items.

Additionally, you can benefit from reduced prices on senior citizen-friendly food items like Ensure Gold and other milk products.

Seniors, particularly those who are indigent, are eligible for free medical and dental care as long as the procedures are carried out in government facilities. Free pneumococcal and flu shots are part of this.

Senior citizen members of Philhealth are also entitled to benefits, such as the requirement that they be covered at all national hospitals that have earned Philhealth’s accreditation. Prior to applying the Philhealth benefit, the 20% senior discount and VAT exemption will be deducted from the total for Philhealth members who have been admitted to private hospitals.

Seniors who use Philhealth can also receive death benefits. An authorization letter must be given to the Philhealth officer if the pensioner is unable to personally claim their benefits. The SSS website offers a checklist for filing a death claim.

Travel Discount for Senior Citizens

Now that you’re older, even your travel expenses are lower! Senior citizens can enjoy their vacations without any hassle thanks to discounts on everything from transportation to lodging!

If you only need to travel short distances, you can benefit from being a pensioner by receiving discounts on travel costs when using jeepneys, buses, taxis, shuttle services, or trains.

Your citizen card will lower the cost of your trip if you’re taking a vacation to another region of the Philippines. Even a comfortable seat will be reserved for you in public transportation vehicles!

A 20% discount and VAT exemption are available for domestic flights, physical reservations, and online reservations with AirAsia, Philippine Airlines, and Cebu Pacific. Be aware that this discount does not apply to international flights, other fees, or baggage allowance. Still a good deal, don’t you think?

There is an exemption for the number coding scheme for seniors for those who find it difficult to commute, whether they are the driver or the passenger. Seniors can even benefit from free parking benefits in cities like Manila, Cebu, Muntinlupa, and Quezon.

Some airlines even help and give senior citizens priority when boarding and deplaning for those who are flying. If you require mobility aids like wheelchairs or walking canes, they will also help you.

Discount on Restaurants and Hotels

You don’t have to stress too much about the cost of your meals, desserts, and beverages when you order for delivery, dine-in, takeout, or drive-thru.

This applies to 20% off at major fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s, Jollibee, KFC, Chowking, Mang Inasal, and Greenwich. There are Jollibee coupons as well, but they cannot be combined with your senior citizen discount.

Just be sure to enter your name and senior citizen number in the app when ordering food deliveries. You must upload a copy of your senior citizen ID as proof to apps like Grab and Foodpanda in order to use the discount.

Speaking of inexpensive vacations, the 20% off discount and VAT exemption benefit also includes lodging and amenities in hotels, beach resorts, and even. Simply show your senior citizen ID when making a reservation or checking in.

Senior Citizen Recreation Discount in the Philippines

You can definitely use your senior card to get a discount if you also enjoy sports like working out in the gym, playing badminton or tennis, ballroom dancing, or even bowling!

The cinema will gladly honor your 20% senior citizen discount as well as other benefits like free food and other services! Free movie admissions are also available to you, sometimes once a month!

This also includes other creative pastimes like visiting theaters, movie theaters, museums, concert venues, and parks. Some cities even send birthday cakes and free movie tickets to senior citizens! For instance, Makati City gives senior citizens free birthday cakes!

Senior Citizen Utility Bills Benefits

If the accounts are in their names, and their household uses less than 30 cubic meters of water and 100 kWh of electricity per month, senior citizens are entitled to a 5% discount on their water and electricity bills.

In order to qualify for Meralco’s 5% senior citizen discount, you must limit your monthly electricity usage to less than 100 kilowatts. You can go to any Meralco business center and show your senior citizen ID, the Meralco bill you have in your name, the barangay certificates of two people who have known the senior citizen for at least a year, and your Meralco bill.

Discount in Grocery Stores for Seniors

The Departments of Agriculture and Trade and Industry have mandated a special 5% discount without VAT exemption on some groceries, even if you are unable to receive 20% off each item.

You can receive a 5% discount off of retail prices for high-quality goods and necessities if you spend about 1,300 pesos a week on groceries. It also includes fresh eggs, coffee, creamer, sugar, fresh fruit and vegetables, garlic and onions, cooking oil, salt, noodles, canned sardines and canned tuna, fresh milk and other dairy products, detergents, electrical equipment, light bulbs, batteries, and geriatric diapers.

For instance, you can get Ensure Gold milk at a discounted price from any grocery store or business if you or a senior loved one need it.

If you bring your senior card and the OSCA purchase booklet you were given when you received your senior card, you are eligible for this discount at grocery stores, convenience stores, and pharmacies. To use the benefits, simply show your OSCA-issued senior citizen ID.

Senior Citizen Philhealth Benefits

Every senior citizen in the Philippines has the right to PhilHealth coverage in medical facilities that have government accreditation, as stated by Republic Act 10645.

Seniors can access medical care even without a Member Data Record (MDR) by simply showing their senior citizen ID. In addition to the standard 20% discount and VAT exemption when admitted to private hospitals, senior citizens also receive these Philhealth coverage benefits.

Senior citizen members of Philhealth can also take advantage of benefits like required coverage at authorized medical facilities nationwide. Prior to applying the Philhealth benefit, the 20% senior discount and VAT exemption will be deducted from the total for members who were admitted to private hospitals.

Seniors who use Philhealth can also receive death benefits. An authorization letter must be given to the Philhealth officer if the pensioner is unable to personally claim their benefits. The SSS website offers a checklist for filing a death claim.

PhilHealth is also largely responsible for the hospitalization benefits for senior citizens in the Philippines.

Source: DIGIDO Philippines
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