When a prominent lawyer complained publicly that a food establishment would not give him the 20-percent discount for senior citizens after he showed his government-issued identification card bearing his date of birth, not a few people thought he was being unreasonable.
Didn’t the law say that only senior citizen cards issued by local government offices entitled discounts and other privileges to people age 60 years and above?
But a friend pointed out to me that under Republic Act 9994 or the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010,” the card issued by the local Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (Osca) was no longer the only proof of age needed to avail of privileges mandated by law for the elderly.
RA 9994 states:
“In the availment of the privileges… the senior citizen, or his/her duly authorized representative, may submit as proof… any of the following:
“(1) An identification card issued by (Osca) of the place where the senior citizen resides: Provided that the identification card issued by the particular Osca shall be honored nationwide;
(2) The passport of the senior citizen concerned; and
(3) OTHER DOCUMENTS (emphasis supplied) that establish that the senior is a citizen of the Republic and is at least sixty (60) years of age as further provided in the implementing rules and regulations.”
Section 5.5 of RA 9994’s Implementing Rules and Regulations goes into specifics:
“Identification Document—refers to any document or proof of being a senior citizen, which may be used for the availment of benefits and privileges under the Act and its Rules. It shall be any of the following:
(a) Senior Citizens’ Identification Card issued by (Osca) in the city or municipality where the elderly resides;
(b) The Philippine passport of the elderly person or senior citizen concerned; and
(c) Other valid documents that establish the senior citizen or elderly person as a citizen of the Republic and at least sixty (60) years of age, which shall include but not limited to the following government-issued identification documents indicating an elderly’s birth date or age: driver’s license, voters ID, SSS/GSIS ID, PRC (Professional Regulation Commission) card, postal ID.”
Of course, it is still advisable to get the Osca ID. Some documents, like the passport, are too valuable to be carried around, especially with the alarming incidence of theft in many public places.
Incidentally, my friend has made it his mission to inform establishments of RA 9994, specifically this provision on what documents should be considered as valid proof of “seniority.” Everywhere he goes, particularly food establishments, he advises management and staff to familiarize themselves with RA 9994 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.
President Benigno S. Aquino III signed a law mandating labels on toys and games to protect children from potential health hazards, the Inquirer reported. I am sure parents welcome the new “Toy and Game Safety Labeling Act of 2013,” which requires every toy or game, imported or locally manufactured, to comply with Philippine National Standards on safety labeling.
Concerns have been raised that many toys and games put children’s health, even lives, in great peril because of contents that are toxic, corrosive, flammable or combustible. Some items contain pieces that get detached during play and pose choking hazards.
Even in the United States, where quality standards are more stringent than ours, there have been reports of children developing serious medical problems or dying because of unsafe toys or games.
Under the new law, items for kids’ use should display “a cautionary statement” on the main panels of the products’ package and on any accompanying descriptive materials.
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