Senior, PWD discounts for online purchases pushed

June 17, 2021 Jester P. Manalastas 152 views

THE 20 percent discount given to senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) should include online purchases.

This is the proposal of Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas stressing that during the pandemic most seniors and PWDs are not allowed to go out and opted to do purchases through online.

Vargas, chairman of the House Committee on Social Services, filed a resolution saying online purchases do not give the required discounts to seniors and PWDs.

He attributed this to the “lack of clear guidelines” from national agencies tasked with implementing the provision on discounts.

“With the lack of clear guidelines from implementing agencies regarding the special discounts on online transactions, millions of Filipino senior citizens and persons with disabilities are unable to avail of the privileges that they rightfully deserve under the law,” Vargas said.

The resolution urged the concerned government agencies to immediately draft and implements guidelines extending the discounts for online purchases.

In House Resolution 1880, Vargas noted that under existing laws, the elderly and PWDs are granted 20 per cent discount on purchases.

he stressed tha t hese laws do not make any exemptions for online purchases.

“The Expanded Senior Citizens Act and the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities do not make any distinction on the applicability of its privileges and special discounts between offline and online transactions, and must thus be interpreted to be available for online purchases,” Vargas said in his resolution.

As early as October 2020, Vargas said consumer advocacy groups have asked the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to release the guidelines to allow the elderly and the PWDS to avail themselves of the discounts for their online purchases.

But as of May, Vargas said the DSWD and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) “have confirmed that they have yet to release the guidelines after important consultations with other national government agencies.”

The lawmaker reminded these agencies that it is government’s duty “to ensure with urgency that our services for the people are made accessible especially for the marginalized and underprivileged.”

Aside from the DSWD and the DTI, the resolution also urges the National Commission for Senior Citizens, the National Commission on Disability Affairs, and other relevant government agencies to immediately draft and implement the guidelines.