Respecting the Senior Citizens of the Philippines

“Dura lex Sed lex”. The law may be harsh but it is the law.

In the Philippines, there exists a law granting a number of benefits to people upon reaching the age of 60. Republic Act 9257, known as the Senior Citizens Act, signed into law on 2004, specifies among others, a 20% discount on food and beverages, medical, dental, transportation and many other products and services to holders of the Senior Citizens Cards.

However, a number of came out within since its implementation because a number of establishments have been reported to adamantly refuse to provide the benefits in part or in full. A number of senior citizens have even refused to avail of the Senior Citizens Card claiming that the refusals to provide them with the benefits have caused public spats and embarrassments because it made them look like beggars.

Every senior citizen in the world deserves some slack. They have worked so hard and paid their dues to society that now, it is the society's turn to serve them. However, some businesses, because of low margins and/or greed totally refuse to comply with the law or have drafted internal regulations undermining it.

However, the senior citizens are like soldiers who refuse to die or fade away. Some of them have united and has started to fight back.

Looking at the provisions of the law, penalties for violations of the law are as follows:

  1. P50,000~100,000 and imprisonment of 6 months to 2 years for the first violation.
  2. P100,000~P200,000 and imprisonment of 2 ~ 6 years.

The law, right or wrong, is the law. Until it is repealed, there is nothing we can do but give to Ceasar what belongs to him.

47 thoughts on “Respecting the Senior Citizens of the Philippines

  1. How about Americans and others for all over the world who are over 60 years old and have been told that they can’t have a “Senior Discount card” Because we are not Philippines? We who have retired here add much money to the local economey here,

    Many in the local American Legion do not understand this when all people in the USA about reaching that age can receive a discount anywhere.. And this encludes all Philippines living in the USA.. Please reply thank WRMoore

  2. Hey Wesley,

    I like your comment.

    People of all races, who are in the Philippines, in my opinion, should receive the same discounts. What you probably need is some kind of a group that will help you advocate this matter.

    You can probably start a blog that will voice your cause and follow it up by asking different associations like your local chapter of the US Chamber of Commerce or any business group.

    Better yet, you can start by writing an article which I can publish in this site.

    In addition, Perhaps, all the associations of foreigners in the Philippines can band together and voice this out, in the same manner that they make their opinions heard regarding business concerns in the Philippines.

  3. Why is it that the government is not giving concern in prosecuting those local government units that don’t give the one (1%) percent share of the older persons (OPs) and persons with disability (PWD) from their annual internal revenue allotment. Section 32 of General Appropriation Act (GAA)provides for a 1% budget for programs and services of POs and PWDs.

    Every time senior citizens asked from their respective mayors of a funding for certain projects, especially construction of senior citizens center as required by RA 7876 the response is always “NO AVAILABLE FUNDS”.

    Will our PRESIDENT GMA look into the misappropriation of the share of the senior citizens and persons with disability. Please give what is due to the POs and PWDs.

  4. indeed society’s parents deserves the benefit! can we all just imagine their contribution to the society…to the world even. like jump starters or chains connecting what was developed, made in the past to present. otherwise, there will be no link and where does that leve us right? but realistically, for a business to operate, we need funds to sustain the economy … employment…livelihood…living conditions of the “common tao”. most products are priced according to affordability and profitability – meaning a price that a “common tao” can afford. Beverage for instance are only marked up to 5% – 10% from the wholesale price… if 20% is taken off, where do we pull the funds for the operating expense of an F&B company? in our case, costing is done this way:

    Beverage Cost – 18.50
    Selling Price – 28.00
    Less – 5.60
    Profit – 3.50


  5. i say they should repeal this stupid law. wherein it would clearly state that a senior citizen is entitled to 20% discount in fares, food, entertainment,etc, clearly and not be humiliated in a supermarket like for example SM, or others…wherein, the senior citizen has to wait because the cashier is checking if this or that food has 20% or not??? how stupid and cumbersome! when you say 20% discount then it applies to everything mentioned by law.
    otherwise, this law and whoever made them should repeal it..
    imagine, announcing: senior citizens;20% discount on, meat, wait a minute ,what kind of meat???ahh lamb chop,cannot be, cow’s meat, hmmm(cahsier looking at long list)…ok, next shrimp, hmm, small size,ok,oops big size, no discount….,milk, ahh is it made with what ,,oops caanot be,this kind,ok?( just giving you a scenario of how cumbersome and tedious this present law is>>>>>

  6. please put up an office in every region to assist senior citizens with capabilities to find meaningful, rewarding and fulfilling jobs. this office’ main job is placement and matching qualifications, among others, with the needs and demands of the industry/employers.

  7. i would just like to ask if a senior citizen ordered for his/her food and avail his/her 20% discount through his/her senior citizen discount card then after an hour he ordered again and wants to avail his 2nd discount of senior citizen, is that possible? or is that written in our law? can you help me out, thanks.

  8. I am gathering all the senior citizen in our area, at Barangay San Isidro but don’t know how to register it to make it legal. Can you help ot guide me in this problem? We have a set of officers and start our activities but we want to be recognized by the government.

  9. People who retire here from foreign countries that are 60 and over should get this discount. But no the philippines is a racist country. I know it happens all the time when I ask for my senior discount

  10. The reason why some establishment not able to give senior a full discount is that the governement does not provide the full implementation from start to finish. Yes the president had already signed the bill stating a full 20% discount for seniority in “Papers” but the question is how?. Implementing new direction requires overall changes to its subsidiaries sector attach to it.
    On the business side where will they get 20% discount without going bankrupt. Also the BIR has no direction to it yet.
    And the government structure are full of loop holes.
    ” Our Government is a powerful monopolizing corporation, over the years they help destroy local market and continue to eradicate them as well by replacing local market with their very owned business venture which is funded by people taxes.”

  11. I am an ex-pat living in the philippines and I have a seniorr card. Many times when I present my card they say I am not filipino. What a racist country. It works okay in fast food places but private businesses forget it.

  12. I can see that the question of Expats 60 years of age and older availing of a Philippine senior citizen card remains a bit confusing. I have one but am shy to use it. So far, I have only used it at fast food eateries and the cinema. But I have learned that other businesses refuse to honor it if one is not a Philippine citizen. Here in Angeles City our American fun VFW and American Legion adamantly refuse to honor it. OK, fine. From what I can read Republic Act 9257 refers to “senior citizen” as any resident citizen of the Philippines at least sixty years old. I have lived in the Philippines for 28 years and hold a “permanent resident” visa. So, I am a 72 year old resident of the PI but what is the interpretation of citizen. One dictionary interpretation of “citizen” is a “resident of city or town”. I am certainly a resident of Angeles City. Now, it also writes that a citizen is one who is loyal to and is entitled to the protection of a government. As a legal permanent resident I am certainly loyal to the laws of the country in which I live and also hope the Philippine government will protect me while I am residing here. Does not every Filipino who goes to the United States expect the same thing? Any filipino who goes to the US, whether he is a citizen or not is subject to senior citizen discounts. So, I am not demanding anything, I am just confused, as are so many fellow expats that live here and contribute to the economy. If the proper agency issued me a senior citizen card, which it has, am I authorized to use it or not?

  13. Sorry for you expats not getting your senior citizens discount. Filipinos are not racist. They are just plain ignorant and some uneducated. My son jokingly calls the place “third world” because of its inconveniences and idiosyncracies. Soon I will be retiring there and I’ll probably see you in the long line of seniors having an argument to get my discount!!! LOL…..

  14. Hi, I am not a senior citizen yet but my husband is 66. In the US you do not have to have a certain card that will show you that you are a senior citizen, if the establishment is in doubt which they always go by your word, you can show your ID or driver lisence to show your age. they usually give discounts automatically in restaurants and if we eat together, usually I get the discount automatically especially when he pays the bill. Foreigners should be included in the senior citizen discounts since most of the foreigners money are spent in the Philippines when they live in this country. Also not to mention the Philippine government always asks for aid from the Foreign countries. Also, foreigners should be entitled to tax excemption since they are not supposed to pay taxes in the Philippines when they are not earning from P.I. as what the Mexicans and other Nationals are entitled when they shop in the US.

  15. To who it may concern:

    I just want to be clarified on matter about the discounts on transportation.On-line booking on air travel does not provide process on senior citizen discounting.In this regard is it possible to bring the booked ticket together with the corresponding supporting documents as a senior citizen so that we can avail of the discount granted to us by the law.

    Thank you very much.

    Miguel T. Sayat
    OSCA ID No.- 31304
    Pasig City

  16. Hi,

    My husband is a British citizen, 64 yrs. of age, and living more than 2 years in the Philippines. Does his ALIEN Card and passport all needed as requirements to apply a senior citizen card in the Philippnes?

  17. Dear OSCA,

    I stayed at the Shangrila Hotel in Boracay on a group rate for there were a number of us who check in due to a wedding. When I checked out, I presented my SeniorCard and ask for the 20% discount. After referring to their officials,they said that I am not enttled to a discount because they have given me the group discount. My contention is, group discount is for everybody. Seniors are entitled to a “”Seniors” discount on top of the discounts they give to everybody. Seniors are distinguised by law to enjoy a special privilage only afforded to Senior Citizens. They should also give a senior discount on top of the group discounts they gave. Also please let me know who we can call to complain if establishments violate this law.

  18. i used a gift certificate to pay for my meal at outback, eastwood. according to them, they do not allow senior citizen discount if using gift certificate. i don’t understand how this can be justified.

  19. Well I hate to opo you bubble, but I hope you realize that this ultimatley means an increase in prices. Those who subsidize it inevitably will be the non senior citizens.

  20. Is it true that a senior citizen needs to be a member/senior citizen with card for one year before he can claim a burial benefit?

  21. i have a small turo turo canteen and my food are very cheap i cannot apply 20% for senior citizen lugi na ako doon kahit 10% pa wla na akong kita what am i suppose to do?

  22. to joe lo. U r not required to give a 20% discount for senior citizen. Ur cantee is exempted from the law unless it’s located inside mall. If it’s just an on street location, then ur ok as far as the law is concerned.

  23. to eva a. king sorry but ur spouse is not qualified. He is an alien as u said. Only filipinos are qualified according to the law.

  24. My question is, why would a town mayor and OSCA head issue a foreigner over 60 and a 11 yr. resident of Philippines with an asawa and children a card if they are not legal? Would the mayor and OSCA head be at fault if said person was to attempt to use such card? Curious!!!

  25. i’m doing a study on senior citizens for my grad school thesis. can i please ask for help like an expert who can give me advise on my topic? and or can share information pertaining to this topic. thank you.

  26. I will be conducting a study on senior citizens organizations in Pangasinan, Philippines as part of my Grad School thesis. I really hope that you can help me look for related literature and studies… Will you send me your abstract if you have any?

    Big thanks in advance and God bless.

  27. dear senior citizan and non citizan

    i operate a low priced restaurant in the philippines and would like to explain to you that is not included in our profit which we calculated on food & beverage to give up to 20% discount to senior citizan. i am myself over 60 years (but not having pension yet or any other benefit)old and certainly would feel more then ashamed to ask private establishments to give me senior discount as i well understand how hard somebody has to work to get a profit in restaurant and food businesses not to mention how many working hours has to be done in this business

    so kindly i ask all senior citican to respect others effort to make an earning and let them have their small profit without begging for discount or other benefits

  28. I am not a senior citizen but my parents are. They are 80 years old and 76 years old. To whom i asks for any information about the laws for senior citizen? The town where my parents live they have a set of officers who will conduct every meetings and manage any contributions and supplies. So what i didn’t understand is when it comes to contributions they ask both my parents to pay but when it comes to distributing any supplies/goods from the government like money, rice, milk etc. they only give to either my mother or father but not both. Why is that? Anybody can explain this? And why is that, some towns and cities in Cebu their senior citizen always receiving more money and fair distribution of goods to every member while this town where my parents are always the lowest of all and unfair distribution of goods. I believed that every senior citizen member should be entitled a fair distribution of goods/money (if any). Where these goods coming from? Who controlled the distribution of goods and why is it not the same from other towns or cities? The town announced to all senior citizen members that all members who are 76 and up will receive a monthly pension. My parents applied and they denied their applications because they are not qualified to receive a pension. The reason why they denied its because my parents are receiving rice allowance every month from me. What about their other expenses like viands, over the counter medicines (paracetamol)? Don’t you think this is ridiculous! How i wish i know who the right person to talk to about this matter. I would love to discuss about this whole thing and what’s going on in this town.

  29. good day to all. I am concerning the senior citizen in alcoy, cebu. Both my parents are senior already but my question is they just applying there senior citizen in alcoy but the answer of the concern is they are not qualified for senior citizen because his age is already 72. My question is, if there is an age limit to avail a card of senior citizen? Thank you for the concern. Just send a reply to my email address.

  30. For Damiana Antig. Both your parents who are over and above 60 years old are senior citizens and therefore are entitled to a senior citizen ID card.

  31. For the information of those who do not know yet:
    The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 9994 otherwise known as the “EXPANDED SENIOR CITIZENS ACT OF 2010” defines a senior citizen or elderly as “any Filipino citizen who is a resident of the Philippines, and who is sixty (60) years old or above. It may apply to senior citizens with ‘dual citizenship’ status provided they prove their Filipino citizenship and have at least six (6) months residency in the Philippines.” Article 9 of the said IRR states “NO DOUBLE DISCOUNTS – 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% discount provided herein, whichever is higher and more favorable. In cases where the senior citizen is also a person with disability (PWD) entitled to a 20% discount under his/her PWD identification card (ID), the senior citizen shall use either his/her OSCA-issued ID or PWD ID to avail of the 20% discount.”

  32. I’m a Senior Citizen Federation Officer and I would like to know what particular law the 1% IRA share for Senior Citizens and its implementation.

  33. im ama british citizen residing in the philippines for the last 21/2 years i am on a permanant residedent visa and am married to a filipino citizen, i am 70 years old and have no plans to return to the uk i am happy here and want to spend ther rfest of my life here with my wife i live in san isidro talisay city cebu and would like to try to apply for a senior citizen card can someone tell me how i do it please

  34. I was looking for for a particular location where to get a Senior ID card in Davao City. I was born in the Philippines and then a naturalized US citizen and has dual citizenship. I just returned to the Philippines in November 2012. I have searched the internet but find no answer to my question. Then I came across these comments by seniors. I am ashame about their comments. What happened to our country? I am disappointed about our goverment. As long as they are happy, rich, and powerfull, they don’t care about others. What a shame!! My country is still corrupt!!

  35. Greetings to all senior citizens in the Philippine,
    I would like to know about the one percent of era from the said baranggay that the one percent is only designated for the senior citizens benefit and the question are?
    1,Where can be use this one percent of the senior citizens?
    2,It is for the livehood for the senior citizens or what?
    3,Please clarify it for us?
    I am one of the chapter president here in my place in zone 3,blk.9.fatima,gen.santos city
    victor agapay

  36. We lunched at a chinatown resto 8 of us all sr citizens and we were given at a fixed discount of P30.00 ea, is this right? Can we not avail the 20% disc. of the total bill?
    Afterwards I bought siopao at a teahouse nearby costing P70 and I was given a P7.00 discount w/c is only 10 %, will you please look into this? Thank you.

  37. my mother is 82 years old. untill now she did not got any money of senior citizin in zamboanga del norte. can you tell me where can i inform in manila? or the head office of senior citizen.

  38. Question:
    I am a senior citizen with OSCA card,I bought my daily vitamin from Healthy Options but the store clerk refused to grant me senior discount despite I showed my senior card. The reason is that I do not have my doctior’s prescription. Is that correct not to extend discount despite showing my senior card?

    If that is the case senior card is useless.

    Please response.
    Romeo Borillo

  39. it is very clear by law that the benefits given to card bearing senior citizens are for bonafide filipino citizens only, age 60 and up, not for expats who live here, even if married to a filipino.

  40. Hi!

    How about abuses being committed by our senior citizens? Like arrogantly claiming that he is senior even without showing OSCA ID instead shows off his California Driver’s License? Senior Citizens should also know the limits of the benefits as to when or not to claim discounts.

  41. one time, i went to the veterans bank to update my PUF, I waited for almost 1 hour that my name would be called and i begun looking for a sign Senior citizens lane. none at all. I approached the teller and asked, Wala po ba kayong priority Lane para sa Senior citizen? She ansnwered me, Wala. I asked her , Bakit? I added all establishments has priority lane for the senior citizen Kayo wala! I went to the chair. (Growling)A matter of seconds she asked my name and she gave the money i withdrawed.

  42. DRC
    My mum is 83 years old and lived in Antique Philippines, and the authority in charge said that she is not untitled the seniors card. So what is Republic Act 9257 signed law on 2004, that when you rich 60 you are a senior citizen, can you please send me or e mail me the terms and conditions why my mum cannot get one. Thanks in advance. Please respond me on my email address. Respectfully yours, Ursula Butlin


  44. A former Filipino Citizen who is a naturalized US citizen and a US pensioner decided to retire here in the Philippines got sick and was hospitalized. He wants to avail of senior citizen 20% discount and PHIC benefits. Would he be entitled to this? He has a birth certificate that he was born here but has a blue passport.

    If not, do the offices of the OSCA and PHIC ask for the passport of the elderly applicant to identify his present citizenship?

    If he was a senior with dual citizenship, would he be given an SC card and PHIC card?
    Considering he served the US during his fruitful years and not the Philippines, should he be entitled to the same benefits that the older Filipino Citizens paid for and the young generation of the country are
    presently paying for?

    OSCA and PHIC should probably publish Q and A on these as to inform the public of the guidelines on who and who cannot avail of these benefits. And “citizen” should have also be qualified as “Filipino Citizen”.

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