House urges gov’t to adopt its guidelines for Seniors, PWD discounts on online buys

House urges gov’t to adopt its guidelines for Seniors, PWD discounts on online buys

The House of Representatives has adopted a resolution urging relevant government agencies to implement the guidelines it has formulated on the application of discounts granted to senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) for all online transactions.

At its plenary session last Monday, the chamber adopted House Resolution 2488 urging the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Information and Communications Technology, the National Commission of Senior Citizens, National Council on Disability Affairs, and other relevant government agencies to effectively implement the guidelines on the applicability of senior citizens and PWD discounts and privileges in all online transactions.

Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas said the Expanded Senior citizens Act and the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities, which grant the 20% discount privilege on essential goods and exemption from paying the added tax, do not make any distinction on the applicability between offline and online transactions and must thus be interpreted to be available for online purchases.

Vargas said senior citizens and PWDs, who remain as the most vulnerable sectors of society in terms of public health and accessibility of basic services, have been forced largely to remain indoors and reliant on purchasing goods online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He noted that due to the lack of clear guidelines from implementing agencies regarding the special discounts on online transactions, many senior citizens and PWDs have been unable to avail of the privileges “that they rightfully deserve under the law.”

“Given the importance of online transactions in everyday life and subsistence of Filipinos especially senior citizens and persons with disabilities, it is imperative that the government establish and properly implement the necessary guidelines for special discounts on online transactions to uphold the rights and welfare of the elderly and PWDs with the privileges they are entitled to under the law,” Vargas stressed.