Common Questions about Señior Citizens Discount

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding the 5% Señior Citizens Discount taken from DTI booklet.

Q. What is Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 03, S2005?
A. DAO No. 03, Series of 2005 is a set of Guidelines on Granting Special Discounts in Special Programs for Senior Citizens implementing Section 2, Paragraph L of Republic Act No. 9257, Otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003 and Rule V, Section 14 of its Implementing Rules and Regulations.

Q. When did DAO 03, S2005 (hereinafter referred to as Guidelines) take effect?

A. May 21, 2005.

Q. What are the legal bases of the Guidelines?
A. It is based on Section 2 (L) of Republic Act No. 9257 otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act, which provides: “To the extent possible, the government may grant special discounts in special programs for senior citizens on purchase of basic commodities, subject to the guidelines to be issued by the Department of Trade and Industry…” and Rule V, Section 14 of its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.A. No. 9257 which in part declares “…provided, that such programs and their guidelines shall be developed by the concerned department within the concerned department’s jurisdiction.”

Q. How was the Guidelines formulated?
A. The Guidelines was an end result of public consultations conducted by the Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection (BTRCP) which were attended by representatives of the senior citizens, consumer groups, the retail business sector and other proper government agencies.

Q. Who are covered by these Guidelines?
A. Filipino senior citizens aged 60 years and above, regardless of income, and the retailers as defined under DAO 03, S2005. 

Q. In particular, what retailers are covered in the Guidelines?
A. Corporate, partnership or individually owned supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience and mini-convenience stores and shops, and bakeries are the retailers contemplated under the Guidelines. 

Q. How about sari-sari stores and groceries operating inside wet markets? Are they also bound to grant the 5% discount? 
A. Sari-sari stores, as well as talipapa, wet markets; and cooperative stores are exempted from granting the 5% discount to senior citizens. Sari-sari stores refer to “mom and pop” type of establishments that are engaged exclusively in retail business, specifically selling an assortment of commodities in “tingi” or in small quantity solely to end-users. Groceries operating inside the wet markets are covered by the Guidelines to grant the special discount on select goods. 

Q. What privilege/entitlement does senior citizens have under these Guidelines?
A. Senior citizens are entitled to 5% discount on selected basic necessities and prime commodities.

Q. Specifically, what products are subject to the 5% discount?
A. Products that may be subject to the 5% discount are as follows:
• canned sardines;
• tuna;
• evaporated filled milk (e.g. Alaska, Alpine, Carnation, Liberty, Evaporated Creamer, and Angel);
• condensed filled milk (e.g. Alaska, Carnation, Liberty, Condensed Creamer, and Milkmaid); and
• powdered milk (e.g. Alaska, Bear Brand; and Nido Full Cream);
• coffee; 
• bread;
• white and brown sugar;
• cooking oil;
• instant noodles;
• luncheon meat;
• meat loaf;
• corned beef;
• ready-to-cook (processed) pork, beef, and chicken whether frozen/refrigerated/preserved;
• powdered, liquid, bar laundry, and detergent soap.

Milk products that are not listed above as basic necessities or prime commodities but with doctor’s prescription for therapeutic purposes will be considered as medicine. Hence, the senior citizen can avail of the 20% discount when these milk products are purchased with prescription from a drug store. However, if the senior citizen buys the said milk products from groceries or supermarkets, he/she could not avail of the discount. 

Q. Why is the discount limited to select goods?
A. The above enumerated products are among the basic necessities and prime commodities under Department of Trade and Industry’s jurisdiction pursuant to R.A. 7581 (The Price Act).

Q. Instead of 20% discount generally provided in R.A. 9257, why only 5% can be deducted from the retail price of the said goods?
A. This is a special privilege granted by DTI and DA. 

Q. Is there a maximum amount a senior citizen may enjoy?
A. Yes. A senior citizen can purchase up to a maximum of P650.00 worth of basic goods per calendar week.

Q. If a senior citizen was not able to use up the P650.00 purchase cap in a given week, can he/she add the balance to his/her next weeks’ purchases?
A. No. The P650 weekly purchase allowance is not cumulative. Previous week’s purchase balance cannot be carried over to the succeeding week/s.

Q. Is a senior citizen allowed to spend the P650.00 weekly purchase cap on bulk purchases?
A. No. Bulk purchases are deemed for resale purposes and is therefore not permitted. A senior citizen may avail of the 5% discount on procurement of a week’s supply of select goods for his/her personal consumption. 

Q. Why is a senior citizen allotted with P650.00 maximum purchase per calendar week only?
A. P650.00 is the agreed amount of how much an elderly needs to purchase a week’s supply of the select goods for his/her exclusive use.

Q. What does “calendar week” mean?
A. A calendar week shall mean the period of seven days, starting on Sunday and ending on a Saturday.

Q. Can the 5% discount apply on top of the special/ promotional discounted price of select commodities?
A. No. The 5% discount shall apply only to the regular retail price of the goods.

Q. Shall a senior citizen entitled to avail a special discount on newly manufactured products?
A. Granting of senior citizen discounts for newly manufactured products to be categorized as basic necessities/prime commodities should be clarified with the National Coordinating and Monitoring Board under Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Q. Can senior citizens avail of the 5% discount in retail stores located outside of their respective municipalities/cities/provinces? 
A. Yes, they can avail of the 5% discount in retail stores nationwide. 

Q. How can a senior citizen avail of the discount?
A. A senior citizen must present to the retailer his/her identification card issued by the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) of the city/municipality where he/she resides, together with the OSCA issued purchase booklet that bears his/her name. 

Q. Does a retailer have the right to verify the identity of the senior citizen?
A. When there is a reasonable ground to doubt the identity of the senior citizen availing the discount, the retailer may ask the former to present other identification documents, issued by the local or national government agency such as the following:
• Voter’s ID by the Commission on Election
• SSS Membership card by the Social Security System
• Postal ID by the PhilPost Corp.
• Passport by the Department of Foreign Affairs
• PRC Card by the Professional Regulation Commission
• IBP Membership cards by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
• Driver’s license by the Land Transportation Office
• GSIS e-card by the Government Service Insurance System
• Other identification cards with pictures issued by government agencies, offices, authorities, and instrumentalities to their employees, to verify the identity of the cardholder.

Q. Can a senior citizen send a representative to purchase goods on his/her behalf?
A. Yes, provided that such representative present to the retailer the following:
• an authorization letter signed by the senior citizen whom he represents;
• OSCA ID and OSCA-issued purchase booklet of the senior citizen; and
• A valid government-issued identification card of the representative.

Q. Are ID cards issued by schools, private establishments, and the like considered valid identification document for purposes of these Guidelines?
A. Yes.

Q. What courses of action may be brought against retailers who fail or refuse to grant the senior citizens of the entitlement under these Guidelines?
A. A criminal and/or administrative case may be filed against any retailer who refuses to honor the right of 
senior citizens to a special discount and such other privileges or entitlements provided for under R.A. No. 9257.

Q. In particular, what can DTI do if a retailer fails to abide by the provisions of these Guidelines?
A. The DTI, upon filing of the appropriate complaint and after due notice and hearing, may impose administrative sanctions to retailers violating the Guidelines. Administrative penalties include the cancellation or revocation of the business licenses or similar privileges granted by DTI to any business entity that fails to abide by the provision of the RA No. 9257.

Q. What happens if a senior citizen or any person abuses the special discount privileges or other entitlements provided for under the R.A. No. 9257?
A. Any person who abuses the privilege granted herein shall be punished with a fine of not less than P5,000.00 but not more than P50,000.00 and an imprisonment of not less than 6 months.

Q. Is a retailer shop, grocery, and convenience store required to provide a special lane with specific time and day for senior citizen?
A. Section 6 of the DTI and DA guidelines provide that whenever practicable, a special lane shall be installed in retail shops or grocery stores. For convenience stores, a signage for senior citizens shall be posted in the cashier with the note, “Please give priority to senior citizen”. The law does not specifically provides/sets/requires for a dedicated time or day to assist senior citizen in purchasing their groceries.

Q. Are imported and local basic commodities also included for availing the special discounts?
A. Yes. All listed items specified under DAO 3, Series of 2005 defined as basic necessities and prime commodities whether imported or locally produced are subject to the 5% discount.

Q. Can a senior citizen pay their purchases thru credit card?
A. Yes. Under Republic Act No. 9257 otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003, a credit card may be used in purchasing medicines/prescription drugs. However, the Senior Citizen Sectoral Council suggested that purchasing of basic necessities and prime commodities with a total value of P650.00 and less be paid in cash. 

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