Take out order

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Dear DTI Consumer Power,
My parents are already senior citizens. As their only child, it is now my responsibility to look after them and their needs. Having been duly authorized by my parents, I claim on their behalf the discount granted to them by law. Unfortunately, one restaurant I went to refused to give me a discount when I ordered takeout food for my parents.

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Are takeout orders not covered by the senior citizen discount?
Cherry, Mandaluyong

Dear Cherry,
Article 7 of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 9994, also known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 states that:

“The senior citizens shall be entitled to the grant of twenty percent [20 percent] discount and to an exemption from the value-added tax [VAT], IF APPLICABLE, on the sale of the goods and services covered by Section 1 to 6 of this article, from all establishments, for the exclusive use and enjoyment or availment of senior citizens.”

Moreover, Rule IV Section 3 of the IRR of the above law declares:

“The discount shall be for the purchase of food, drinks, dessert, and other consumable items served by the establishments offered for the consumption of the general public.”

Collectively, all establishments offering goods and services covered by the Seniors Citizens Act, including food through dine-in and take-out/take-home/drive-thru orders, are required to grant discounts to the elderly.

Therefore, all business establishments that offer consumer products and services covered by the said law are mandated to grant senior citizens’ discount. No store can refuse to give such discount provided that, the senior citizen or his/her duly authorized representative presents the documentary requirements when claiming it.

Requirements include: Senior Citizens’ Identification Card issued by the Head of the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) or any government issued ID as proof of eligibility and the senior citizens’ purchase booklet. For the authorized representative of the senior citizen, he/she is required to present all the aforementioned documents including his/her government issued ID and the authorization letter signed by the senior citizen he/she is representing.

Any person or establishment proven to have violated any of the provisions of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act will be penalized. For the first violation, a fine of not less than fifty thousand pesos (Php50,000) but not exceeding one hundred thousand pesos (Php100,000) and imprisonment of not less than two (2) years but not more than six (6) years. For any subsequent violation, a fine of not less than one hundred thousand pesos (P100,000) but not exceeding two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000) and imprisonment of not less than two (2) years but not more than six (6) years.

The DTI encourages and empowers every Filipino consumer to know, understand and assert their rights. It is important to read and learn the laws of being implemented in our country. The Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 (Republic Act 9994) will guide you on the rights and responsibilities of the respected elderly of our society. This law ensures that support is given for the protection of their welfare. Being well-informed can heighten awareness. Through this way, we can make both the consuming public and businesses to respect the law.

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