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Photo by: Neil Clark Ongchangco via SaBaguio Facebook Group

Baguio City warns drug stores and other establishments, to be more inclusive when acknowledging identification cards for granting senior citizen discounts. During a regular session last Monday, the City Council approved the first reading of a proposed ordinance that could penalize drug stores and establishments failing to recognize various government-issued identification cards.

The proposed ordinance, led by Councilor Isabelo Cosalan Jr., emphasizes that all business establishments, particularly drug stores, should accept multiple forms of government-issued identification cards. These include Philippine passports, driver’s licenses, voter’s IDs, unified multipurpose IDs, postal IDs, and more. These IDs serve as valid proof of age and eligibility for senior citizens discounts.

The proposed measure sets penalties for any establishment found in violation of its provisions: a P2,000 fine for the first offense, P3,000 for the second, and P5,000 for the third offense. Furthermore, violators are required to submit a written explanation to the Office of the City Mayor within 48 hours after receiving the violation notice, explaining the valid reason for not honoring other government-issued IDs for the senior citizen discounts.

The ordinance assigns the City Social Welfare and Development Office to review and monitor the ordinance’s implementation. According to the proposed measure, it is the responsibility of all establishments to recognize and honor government-issued IDs, ensuring that senior citizens get the benefits they’re entitled to.

The Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, also known as Republic Act 9994, grants senior citizens privileges and benefits, including a 20-percent discount on their purchases from all establishments. This includes drug stores and for medical and dental services.

The implementing rules and regulations of the law define the identification document as any document or proof of being a senior citizen, which may be used to avail the benefits and privileges under the law and its rules. It extends to any government-issued IDs such as seniors ID card, the Philippine passport, and other valid documents that confirm the senior citizen’s citizenship and at least 60 years of age.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) affirmed earlier that the failure to present a senior citizen’s ID card issued by the office of Senior Citizens Affairs is not a reason for non-availment of discount privileges under the law. It is imperative that establishments heed the warning from Baguio City and ensure the rights of seniors are upheld.

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