Should senior citizens get an establishment’s promotional discount, in addition to the 20 percent off they are entitled to under Republic Act No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010?
Responding to a reader’s query, Lilian Salonga, assistant director and officer-in-charge of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Consumer Protection and Advocacy Bureau (CPAB), said the DTI’s Legal Services had expressed the view that RA No. 9994 does not allow “double” discounting.
The reader recalled eating in a restaurant which offered free meals for people celebrating their birthdays, if each celebrator was accompanied by three paying guests. He said they got three free meals for his group of 12, which included four birthday celebrators. But the establishment did not give him the 20-percent senior citizen discount, citing the free meals his group already got.
The DTI Legal Services cited Section 9 of the senior citizens law, which states: “In the purchase of goods and services which are on promotional discount, the senior citizen can avail of the establishment’s offered discount or the 20-percent discount provided herein, whichever is higher and more favorable.”
In other words, it is an “either/or” proposition. The senior citizen cannot enjoy both the discount mandated by law and the promotional discount. He/she will have to choose which discount is preferable.
No senior discount
Another reader wants to ask The Original Buko Pie Bakeshop in Tagaytay City why her mother, a senior citizen, was not given the 20-percent discount mandated by law when she bought its products.
Actually, this is a question that many Metro Manila senior citizens, who travel outside the metropolis, have often asked. Many establishments outside Metro Manila do not give the 20-percent discount. A senior citizen card is usually honored only in chains that are based in Metro Manila, although one major bakeshop chain has a unique interpretation of the law. If a senior citizen buys a bag of its products, say mamon, only one piece gets the 20-percent discount. Do they think the senior will eat only one piece?
Businesses outside Metro Manila do not seem to know about RA No. 9994. Either local governments do not implement the law or they have failed to make local businesses aware of it. Senior citizens should demand that their local governments ensure they are able to enjoy the benefits of RA No. 9994.
Mobile app for consumers
A new consumer advocacy group, Laban Konsyumer Inc. (LKI), has launched a mobile phone application. Through the Laban Konsyumer mobile app, consumers can send a complaint or an inquiry to LKI, and get access to news, updates and relevant information on Filipino consumer rights.
The free app is supported on Android phones and tablets with Android OS 4.4 and above. Look for the app on Google Play Store and access LKI even outside the Philippines.
To send a complaint or an inquiry, fill out a form then submit it. The complaint or inquiry will be sent to LKI as an e-mail.
As for your consumer rights, the app’s Know Your Rights tab provides articles on consumer rights and responsibilities, warranties and notable laws on consumer rights. PDF copies are also available.
Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; e-mail email@example.com.