DSWD and NCMB to celebrate the 2013 Elderly Filipino Week
This October, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the National Coordinating and Monitoring Board (NCMB) will join other agencies and senior citizens organizations in celebrating the annual Elderly Filipino Week (EFW).
This year’s theme is “Nakatatanda: Pagtulungang Isulong Benepisyo't Karapatan tungo sa Maginhawa at Masayang Pamayanan" and is aimed at promoting greater participation and cooperation among the different stakeholders to ensure that senior citizens enjoy their benefits and privileges under the law.
From October 1 to 7, the yearly events will be held, such as the “Walk for Life” sponsored by the Department of Health (DOH), the awarding of the “Ulirang Nakatatanda” organized by the Coalition of Services of the Elderly (COSE), and the VISO-jail visits to elderly inmates by the DSWD-NCR and the Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines (FSCAP).
As part of advocacy efforts, the DSWD Central Office through the NCMB Unit will also sponsor a forum on Republic Act No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 for DSWD retirees and other senior citizens of nearby government offices. Invited as resource speakers for the October 2 activity are representatives from the DOH, the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
Also considered as part of the official programme of activities this EFW 2013 is the Consultative Conference on Older Persons Issues by the Philippine Women’s University - Institute of Family Life and Children’s Studies and the DSWD. The one-day event slated for October 3 will be held at the Conrado Benitez Hall at the PWU-Taft campus in Manila, and is expected to be attended by 100 participants from senior citizens associations and different fields of discipline involved in elderly care.
For the past 3 years, there have also been FREE rides given to senior citizens by the MetroRail Transit (MRT), the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Philippine National Railways (PNR), a privilege that is hoped to be enjoyed for the weekend of October 5-6, 2013.
The week’s opening salvo shall be held at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) in Pasay City where a short program shall follow the Walk for Life parade of NCR’s senior citizens.
DSWD Clarifies ID requirement for Senior Citizens Discounts
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has affirmed that failure to present a Senior Citizens Identification Card issued by the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) is not a ground for non-availment of senior citizens discount privileges under Republic Act No. 9994.
Business establishments are reminded that the private sector cannot refuse to grant senior citizens their discount privileges if they are able to present other government-issued identification documents that prove they are already senior citizens.
Both RA 9994, otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) provide for the use of proper identification documents as proof of eligibility of a senior citizen to avail of the benefits and privileges under RA 9994. Foremost of these is the Senior Citizens’ Identification (ID) Card issued by the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) in the city or municipality where the elderly resides.
In addition to the OSCA-issued Senior Citizen’s ID card, however, a Philippine passport and other government-issued identification cards that show a senior citizen’s age and/or birthdate such as a driver’s license, voters ID, SSS/GSIS ID, PRC card, and postal ID may likewise be shown to avail of SC discount benefits. Note that as a social welfare legislation, RA 9994 is meant to benefit our own Filipino elderly. Thus, besides proof of age, 60 years and older, availing senior citizens must also be able to prove Filipino citizenship and actual residency in the country, hence the need to present the above-mentioned identification documents.
Nonetheless, the National Coordinating and Monitoring Board (NCMB), an inter-agency committee tasked with monitoring the implementation of RA 9994 and chaired by the DSWD, stands by its previous policy of giving premium to the OSCA-issued Senior Citizens ID cards, and enjoins both the elderly community and the private sector to follow Rule IV, Article 6 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations as much as possible. Said provision was specifically included to prevent abuse of the SC discounts and as a means of monitoring the senior citizens population benefitting from the said privileges.
Reiterating the agreements reached by various stakeholders during the drafting of the IRR in 2010, the general rule is that OSCA-issued SC ID cards are to be used in the availment of benefits under RA 9994. However, in case the senior citizen inadvertently fails to present the OSCA ID, but is able to show another government-issued ID, businesses must grant the SC discount, especially for purchases of medicines and basic necessities.
For this purpose, NCMB Resolution No. 1-2013, Series of 2013 has recently been issued for immediate circulation to all concerned.
DSWD/NCMB reports on RA 9994 Accomplishments
Since its passage in 2010, Republic Act No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 has sought to provide for the needs and concerns of our Filipino elderly by extending to them various benefits and privileges. Three years hence, much has been accomplished in ensuring that our senior citizens enjoy these benefits.
The National Coordinating and Monitoring Board (NCMB) Unit lodged in the Policy Development and Planning Bureau of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continuously followed-up with concerned government agencies the issuance of appropriate supplemental guidelines that will facilitate the implementation of RA 9994 provisions. Hence, the Department of Health (DOH) issued three administrative orders, namely AO# 2010-0032, AO# 2011-0018, and AO#2012-0007, providing guidance on the availment of medical benefits and health privileges, including discounted drug purchases and hospitalization. The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) jointly issued Administrative Order #10-02, Series of 2010, which extended the special 5% discount on prime commodities and basic necessities up to a maximum of P1,300 per week, including a new format for the purchase booklet. The Department of Finance, through the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued two revenue regulations, RR# 7-2010 and RR# 8-2010, and two revenue memorandum circulars, RMO# 45-2010 and RMC# 38-2012, on granting the 20% discount and 12% Value-added Tax exemption on selected transactions by seniors. Other agencies like the Department of Labor (DOLE DO#3, Series of 2010), the Department of Tourism (DOT Memo Circ#2010-07), the Philippine Trade and Technology Center (PTTC), the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB Reso# 23, Series of 2010), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the DSWD (Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1, Series of 2012), all issued their respective supplemental guidelines on relevant provisions on employment opportunities for seniors, discounted accommodations and lodgings, free skills development and trainings, etc. as required in the IRR.
The most recent issuances are updated guidelines from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED Memo Order# 56, Series of 2012) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA Circular# 4, Series of 2013) on scholarships for vocational or technical trainings, additional medical discounts under the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth Circular #056, S. 2012 and Circular #0011, S. 2013), and the joint DA-DTI #12-02, S.2012, amending JAO 10-02, Series of 2010 clarifying the discounted items from groceries and supermarkets.
For more efficient implementation, the DSWD, through the NCMB, also dialogued with the private sector groups such as the Quick-Service Restaurants (QSR) League and the Philippine Franchise Associations (PFA), and even encouraged utility companies like the MERALCO, Manila Water and Maynilad Water to draft their own rules in line with RA 9994 provisions on the special utility discounts on water and electricity consumption.
Advocacy efforts to popularize RA 9994 were also undertaken by the NCMB and its individual members via print, television and radio exposures. In addition, numerous orientations, briefings, and special lectures on RA 9994 were given as technical assistance to government agencies, local government units and Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCAs), as well as senior citizens associations.
DSWD and the NCMB Mourns the Passing of Senior Citizen Stalwart, "Tito Peps" Ordonez
DSWD and the NCMB Mourns the Passing of
Senior Citizen Stalwart, “Tito Peps” Ordoñez
Senior Citizen sector advocate and stalwart, Jose P. Ordoñez, Jr. recently passed away at the age of 79.
“Tito Peps”, as he is lovingly called, was one of the founding members of the Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines or FSCAP, an early People’s Organization (PO) established by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) composed of our Filipino elderly nationwide. He served as FSCAP National Secretary and FSCAP Regional Representative for Region III (RSCAP) since he is a native of Bocaue, Bulacan.
As official FSCAP representative to the National Coordinating and Monitoring Board (NCMB), lobbying for the passage of senior citizens legislation and assisting in the drafting of Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the expanded versions of said laws. As a NGO/PO representative in the NCMB, he was also part of many consultation meetings and coordinating dialogues with different industries and service providers to facilitate the implementation of the senior citizens law. He was particularly instrumental in drafting relevant NCMB Resolutions that clarified many provisions of Republic Act No. 9257 and RA 9994 for business establishments. His tireless efforts of bridging the senior citizens and the private sector included many regional orientations and media interviews to increase awareness about the benefits and privileges of senior citizens under the Expanded Senior Citizens Act.
As part of FSCAP, he also served as senior citizen sectoral representative in the National Anti-Poverty Commission or NAPC for some time and participated in the drafting of at least two (2) Philippine Plan of Action for Senior Citizens (PPASC) 2006-2010 and the successor PPASC 2012-2016. He was not only a stakeholder, but an active partner of DSWD in all its endeavors in promoting the welfare of our senior citizens.
Mr. Ordoñez was likewise the Executive Director of the Coalition of Associations of Senior Citizens in the Philippines, Inc., also known as the Senior Citizens Party List for which he campaigned for until his very last days.
DSWD and the NCMB mourns this great loss of such an active partner in protecting the interests of the Filipino elderly. We shall forever be grateful to our beloved “Tito Peps” for all his contributions to the senior citizens sector.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 05 March 2013 14:31)