The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) region 8 has again reiterated to senior citizens some additional benefits they could enjoy, particularly on the purchase of prime and basic commodities.
The reorientation was held in time for the 3rd quarter meeting of the Regional Coordinating and Monitoring Board or RCMB, which was attended by the officers and members of the provincial and city senior citizens federation in Eastern Visayas, together with the representatives of different government agencies.
Alan Tuazon of the Consumer Welfare Division of DTI, lectured on the national guidelines in granting special discounts for all senior citizens in the purchase of selected basic necessities for their exclusive use, implementing Section 2, Paragraph L of Republic Act 9257, otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003.
According to Tuazon, their office is serious in the promotion and advocacy for consumers’ welfare and protection, specifically on educating them of their basic rights and responsibilities.
In the law, it is emphasized that the elderly can avail of 5% discount on the regular retail price of the items bought, or a maximum of P650 worth of grocery items per week.
The products identified to be discounted include sardines, milk, coffee, bread, sugar, noodles, luncheon meat and soap, among others, provided these items are brought at groceries and convenient stores or supermarkets. Talipapa, sari-sari stores and wet market are exempted from giving discounts.
The marked down prices maybe availed by the senior citizens themselves should they be able to present identification documents with purchase booklets, or through their authorized representatives.
The Expanded Senior Citizens Act is a privilege given to senior citizens aside from the 20% discount they enjoy on transportation and recreation services, as well as on the purchase of medicines and food.
For their part, the Department of Public Works and Highways, in the same forum, said they are strengthening the implementation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 344, also known as the Accessibility Law, which is an act to enhance the mobility of persons with disabilities by requiring certain buildings, institutions, establishments and other public utilities to install facilities and other devices.
Engr. Rosario Margallo of the DPWH said that with the implementation of the law, persons with mobility challenges to include the senior citizens would now have access to some public and private establishments through the use of special structures built purposely for them.
“With this, she added, physically challenged people would be given the chance to be empowered and become productive, thereby having the ability to continue their job in participating community development work”.
The concept of accessibility is of universal design that promotes a barrier-free environment necessary for independent living and equal opportunities. This is premised on United Nations Legislation enacted way back 1983.
Relative to this, local building officials are making sure that accessibility features are incorporated in building plans before they issue building permits, and confirms that these structures bear the correct specifications. By Gemma Tabao/PIA