Business entities will face legal charges, if they are found not giving discounts to senior citizens who fail to present their senior citizens ID card or the “white card”, Vice President Jejomar Binay warned yesterday.
Binay called on companies, amid reports that there are business establishments, refusing to give 20 percent discount to senior citizens who do not have a white card.
“It has been reported that some establishments refuse to grant senior citizens discount in the absence of a white card. There is no legal basis for such a policy,” Binay said in a letter to Sec. Gregorio Domingo of the Department of Trade and Industry.
Binay said business establishments cannot refuse to grant senior citizens the mandatory discounts in case they fail to present the ID since under the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 9994 or the Senior Citizens Act of 2010, senior citizens can present other ID cards to avail themselves of the senior citizen discounts.
Under Rule III of the IRR, Binay said that a senior citizen or his/her duly authorized representative may present any of the following identification documents as proof of being a senior citizen:
Senior Citizen’s Identification Card issued by the Office of Senior Citizen's Affairs in the city or municipality where the elderly resides; Philippine passport; and other valid documents that establish the senior citizen as a citizen of the Republic and at least sixty years of age.
The IRR said this includes driver’s license, voters ID, SSS/GSIS ID, PRC card, postal ID and other government-issued IDs indicating the cardholder's age and birthday.
Binay added that under the law’s article 24, any person, corporation, partnership, organization or any similar entity directly involved for refusing to honor the senior citizens shall pay a fine not from P50,000 to P100,000 or shall face imprisonment from 2 years to 6 years.
Violation of the law may also cause the cancellation or revocation of the business permit, permit to operate, franchise and other similar privileges granted to any person, establishment or business entity.
“The provisions of the law are very clear, and I believe it is incumbent upon concerned government agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry to take definitive action to ensure that no bona fide senior citizen is denied of his or her full enjoyment of such privileges and benefits granted under RA 9994 and all relevant statutes,” Binay said.*PNA