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 Until it is repealed, there is nothing we can do but give to Ceasar what belongs to him.

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