Overseas Filipino workers who have served many years abroad and decide to go home as they reach retirement age can look forward to receiving their benefits. Typically, senior citizens’ benefits consist of their retirement pension from SSS or Pag-IBIG Fund.
But thanks to laws enacted by the Philippine government, senior citizens benefits can now include discounts on food, utilities, priority lanes on public and private services, and recreation or exemption of paying certain obligations. As they reach the age of 60, senior citizens can avail themselves of discounts and privileges for life.
Overview of Senior Citizens benefits and privileges in the Philippines
Senior citizens in the Philippines are granted several benefits and privileges (which are listed in the next tab) under Republic Act No. 9994 and Republic Act No. 10645. To avail of these benefits, the senior citizen or his/her authorized representative shall present a valid and original Senior Citizens’ Identification Card.
Elderly Filipinos aged 60 and above are entitled to a 20% senior citizen discount and are exempted from the value-added tax (VAT) on applicable goods and services for their exclusive use. These privileges apply to both cash and credit card payments.
A Senior Citizens’ Identification Card is issued by the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) in the city or municipality where the senior citizen resides. Documentary requirements vary per municipality, but the basic qualifications based on RA 9994 are as follows:
- Must be a Filipino citizen who is a resident of the Philippines
- Must be 60 years old or above
- May apply to senior citizens with dual citizenship provided that they prove their Filipino citizenship and have at least six months of residency in the Philippines
TWENTY PERCENT (20%) DISCOUNT AND VAT EXEMPTION
- Medical-related privileges
- Domestic transportation privileges
- Hotels, restaurants, recreational centers, and places of leisure, and funeral services
- Recreations centers
- Admission fees privilege
- Funeral and burial services
- Families of deceased senior citizens can claim a 20% discount on funeral and burial services. This death benefit applies to hospital morgues, caskets or urns, and embalming and cremation services.
OTHER SENIOR CITIZENS BENEFITS
- Income tax exemption
- Exemption from training fees
- Free medical and dental services in government facilities
- Free vaccinations for indigent senior citizens
- Educational privileges
- Privileges on granting special discounts in special programs
- Express lanes privileges
The grant of a 50% discount on all electricity, water, telephone consumption for DSWD-accredited senior citizens centers and residential care institutions or group homes that are government-run or organized and operated by non-stock, non-profit domestic corporations, primarily to promote the well-being of abandoned, neglected, unattached or homeless senior citizens.
Such senior citizen centers and residential care or group homes must have been in operation for at least six (6) months and must have a separate meter for said utilities/services.
The grant of a minimum of five percent (5%) discount relative to the monthly utilization of water and electricity by households with senior citizens;
Provided, That the individual meters for the foregoing utilities are registered in the name of the senior citizen residing therein: provided, further, that the monthly consumption does not exceed one hundred kilowatt-hours (100 kWh) of electricity and thirty cubic meters (30 m’) of water:
Provided, furthermore, that the privilege is granted per household regardless of the number of senior citizens residing therein.
- Social services
- Access to public transport
- Incentives for foster care
ADDITIONAL GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE
- Social pension
- Mandatory PhilHealth coverage
- Social safety nets
- Death benefit assistance
How to Apply for Senior Citizens Benefits
To avail of the discount under this Section, the senior citizen shall:
- Apply for the discount personally or thru a representative. There shall be an annual renewal of application to the utility provider.
- Submit requirements:
a. Proof of age and citizenship
b. Proof of billing. Meter registration should be in the name of the senior citizen for one year
c. Proof of residence