NCSC urges groceries to implement P500 monthly discount for elderly

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

March 5, 2024, 5:00 pm

<p>National Commission on Senior Citizens chair Franklin Quijano <em>(PNA photo by Avito Dalan)</em></p>

National Commission on Senior Citizens chair Franklin Quijano (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – The National Commission on Senior Citizens (NCSC) is urging grocery stores to implement the PHP500 monthly discount on items and prime commodities given to senior citizens, saying this plays an important role in their enjoyment of quality life.

NCSC chair Franklin Quijano said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has issued a directive increasing the maximum discount to PHP500 starting this month.

“Kelangan lang i-disseminate ang information kasi baka may mga groceries na hindi pa nila alam. Although ang DTI na naglabas na ng kanilang directive (The information must be disseminated because some grocery stores may not know about it. Although the DTI has already released a directive),” Quijano said in a Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon interview aired over People's Television.

The discounts senior citizens can enjoy cover only basic goods and prime commodities, or typical items consumed daily, such as rice, corn, bread, meat, fish, chicken, eggs, cooking oil, sugar, vegetables, fruits, onions, garlic, fresh milk, and processed milk.

Manufactured goods, such as processed meat and sardines, are also covered.

Exempted from discounts are medical-grade milk, premium brands of manufactured goods, cakes, and pastries.

However, there are additional discounts on basic construction supplies, like cement, hollow blocks, and electrical supplies, including light bulbs.

Quijano urged the seniors to address their complaints and concerns to the Office of the Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA).

“Kung may reklamo man sila, hindi lang nila sa OSCA ipapadala, kung hindi i-copy-furnish ang National Commission on Senior Citizens, nang sa ganon matulungan natin ang OSCA na tawagan ang mga alkalde at ang mga ahensiya at mga groceries (If they have complaints, they can send it not only to OSCA. They should copy-furnish NCSC so that we can help OSCA call the mayors, the agencies, and grocery stores),” he said.

Apart from additional discounts on groceries, senior citizens who are turning 80, 85, 90, and 95 years old this year would receive PHP10,000 under Republic Act 11982.

Quijano said the guidelines for the implementation of the act are being drafted and are expected to be completed in a month.

He added that the NCSC is waiting for the go-signal from the Department of Budget and Management for the availability of the fund. (PNA)