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In this article, you will learn all the most important information about senior citizen discounts in the Philippines. If you have reached retirement age, you are entitled to many benefits. Also, people who are retired but have a stable income and have not yet reached the age of 70 can benefit from Digido loans. The probability of getting a loan is over 90%!

Senior Citizen Discount and Benefits

Published: April 5, 2021. Last updated: June 20, 2022

Written by: Sean Martin D. Plantado | Reviewed by: Rafael Hular

Key takeaways:

  • Every senior citizen in the Philippines can take advantage of various discounts in different areas.
  • This is taken care of by the government.
  • Pensioners can get discounts on medicines, shopping, travel and other expenses.
  • If you do not have enough money, you can take out a loan from Digido under the age of 70.

There are so many reasons to look forward to your 60th birthday. More time to spend with family and friends, your long-awaited retirement from work with lump sums of money, a guaranteed monthly pension, and also a long string of benefits once you reach your sixties.

Worldwide, people are considered to be of senior age if they are 65 years old or more. Here in the Philippines, you must be 60 years old or above in order to be a “senior citizen age”, and you must be a resident of the country. This is also applicable to senior citizens who have dual citizenship status as long as they can show proof of their Filipino citizenship and have at least 6 months of residency in the country.

Senior citizens are given many privileges by the government due to limited work opportunities, aside from their contributions to the country and society. Now that their activities are more limited, it is society’s turn to take good care of them. 

There are lots of programs for senior citizens in the Philippines. To avail of benefits afforded to senior citizens in the Philippines, we will tell you about this below.

About the Expanded Senior Citizen Act of 2010

For those who are still years away from reaching their sixties, it still pays to learn about the numerous benefits that are afforded to senior citizens in the Philippines. You can use it as a basis for your long-term goals or when you are looking after your parents or grandparents. 

The Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 defines the privileges all senior citizens in the Philippines are entitled to. The law posits that Filipino senior citizens must be afforded benefits and privileges in order to support their well-being and improve their welfare in the latter years of their lives. 

Senior citizens in the Philippines can avail of a 20% discount in every purchase and are exempted from value-added tax (VAT) on particular goods and services that they will exclusively use. 

Senior citizens will also be provided with a Philhealth-covered comprehensive health care and rehabilitation system that will help particularly those with health problems and disabilities. All pensioners must also be covered by the national health insurance program as provided by Philhealth, as per RA 10645.

Some of the medical benefits being granted to senior citizens include medicines, medical supplies, free vaccinations, and dental services in public and private health facilities.

Senior citizens will also receive discounts on transportation fares, accommodation fees, restaurants, recreational activities, leisure activities, and funeral services. They can even get discounts on utilities such as electricity and water bills!

Other mandatory benefits for Filipino senior citizens include exemptions on income tax and training fees, financial aid for education, retirement benefits, and priority lanes in public offices and private establishments. Some local government units even give pensioners a monthly allowance, depending on their budget.

In January 2022, the House of Representatives approved a measure granting Php 25,000 to senior citizens who will reach 80 years of age, Php 100,000 to those who will reach 100 years old, and Php 1 million to those who will reach 101 years old.

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What is a Senior Citizen or OSCA ID?

You’ve now been given a brief introduction about the benefits being awarded to Filipino senior citizens. But how can you or your loved one apply for that one document which will prove your standing as a senior citizen – the senior citizen ID?

In order to qualify for a senior citizen ID here in the Philippines, you or your loved one must be 60 years old or older, a Philippine citizen, and a resident of the city/municipality where you are applying for at least six months. You also need to present a 1×1 photo and an ID. 

To apply for a senior citizen ID, first you need to compile the requirements listed above then go to your local Office of the Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA). Fill out the application form, submit the completed form and wait for the release of your senior citizen card.

Once you have received your senior citizen card, congratulations! You can now present this senior citizen ID to establishments in order to avail of discounts and freebies!

Remember that some establishments might refuse to give you a senior’s discount if you can’t present your ID, so make sure that you always carry it with you! However, just in case you left your senior citizen ID at home, you can use any valid ID to avail of your discount. 

Valid IDs honored by establishments include a passport, SSS UMID card, GSIS ID, driver’s license, voter’s license, or postal ID. 

In addition, double discounts are not allowed. This means that if something is on promo, you can only choose either to avail of the promo or your senior citizen discount.

Moreover, if you are unable to go out and shop for your essentials, an authorized representative is allowed to claim the 20% discount on your behalf! Your representative must grant your senior citizen ID or any government ID, OSCA Purchase Booklet, representative’s ID alongside with the authorization letter signed by you.

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How to compute the senior citizen discount

To compute the senior citizen discount, you must determine the amount of the value-added tax (VAT) from the selling price of the item or service. Then, subtract the 20% from the VAT-exempt amount. Afterwards, you can now compute the billable amount.

Senior Citizen Discount on Medicines

As long as you have a doctor’s prescription, you are eligible to use your senior citizen card to buy generic and branded medicines, vitamins, and mineral supplements. Even the purchase of medical supplies and equipment such as hearing aids, eyeglasses, wheelchairs, crutches, and dentures are discounted and VAT-exempted. 

If you have to have a medical or dental check-up, you are eligible to ask for a discount from your doctors and other licensed health workers. 

In case you have to undergo laboratory tests like blood tests, X-rays, and others, you can be relieved by the fact that you will be getting a discount for these procedures. 

You can also receive free vaccinations and examinations from your local health center, whichever is applicable. For example, senior citizens can receive free flu or pneumonia vaccinations from pharmacies such as Mercury Drug. If a senior citizen cannot go out to purchase these products, just present an authorization letter to purchase on behalf of the senior citizen.

You can also avail of discounted food products for pensioners such as Ensure Gold and other milk products which are beneficial to seniors.

Senior citizens, especially those who are indigents, can avail of free medical and dental services as long as the medical procedures will be done in government facilities. This includes free flu and pneumococcal vaccinations.

Philhealth also offers benefits to senior citizen members, including mandatory coverage in Philhealth-accredited medical facilities in the country. For Philhealth members who have been confined in private hospitals, the 20% senior discount and VAT exemption will be subtracted from the total amount first before the Philhealth benefit is applied.

Philhealth also has death benefits for senior citizens. If a pensioner cannot claim their Philhealth benefits personally, an authorization letter must be presented to the Philhealth officer. SSS death claim checklist is available online at the SSS website.

Travel Discount for senior citizens

Even your travel expenses are lessened now that you are a senior citizen! With discounts left and right from transportation to accommodation, senior citizens can enjoy their vacations without all the hassle!

Whether you are just traveling short distances through jeepneys, buses, taxis, shuttle services, or trains, you can enjoy the privileges of being a pensioner through discounts on travel fares. 

If you are going for a vacation to other parts of the Philippines, your citizen card will make your getaway more affordable. Public transport vehicles will even allot a comfortable seat for you!

Domestic flights, physical bookings, and online bookings in AirAsia, Philippine Airlines, and Cebu Pacific are eligible for a 20% discount and VAT exemption. Take note, however, that this discount does not cover baggage allowance, other fees, and international flights. Still quite the steal, right?

For senior citizens who find it troublesome to commute, there is an exemption for the number coding scheme for seniors whether they may be the driver or passenger. In cities like Manila, Cebu, Muntinlupa, and Quezon, seniors can even enjoy free car parking benefits.

For those traveling by air, some airlines will even assist and prioritize senior citizens when boarding and getting off the plane. They will also assist you if you need mobility assistance like wheelchairs or walking canes.

FAQ

  • How much is PhilHealth discount for senior citizen?
    Senior citizens have mandatory PhilHealth coverage as stipulated in RA 9994. When they are confined in private hospitals, they can avail of PhilHealth benefits in addition to the 20% discount and VAT exemption.
  • Does senior citizen need to pay PhilHealth?
    Elderly people who are employed or have a regular source of income must continue to pay contributions to PhilHealth.
  • How old is a senior citizen in the Philippines?
    This category includes people over the age of 60.

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Discount on Restaurants and Hotels

You can enjoy meals, desserts, and beverages in a dine-in, take-out, drive-thru, and delivery orders without worrying too much about how much you have to pay! 

This covers 20% discounts from big fast-food chains such as McDonald’s, Jollibee, KFC, Chowking, Mang Inasal, and Greenwich. Jollibee coupons are also available, but it cannot be used along with your senior citizen discount.

When availing of food deliveries, just make sure you mention your name and your senior citizen number in the app. Apps such as Grab and Foodpanda will require you to upload a copy of your senior citizen ID as proof in order to avail the discount. 

Speaking of affordable vacation, accommodation, and amenities in hotels, beach resorts, or even  is also part of the 20% discount and VAT exemption benefit. Just present your senior citizen ID during the booking or check-in process.

Senior Citizen Recreation Discount in the Philippines

If you also enjoy sporting activities like working out in the gym, playing badminton or tennis, ballroom dancing, or even bowling, you can definitely use your senior card to avail of a discount! 

Recreational services like the cinema will happily grant you your 20% senior citizen discount and other benefits such as free food and other services! You can also avail of free movie admissions, sometimes once a month!

This also includes other artistic leisure activities such as going to theaters, cinemas, museums, concert halls and parks. Some cities even provide free movie tickets to senior citizens and send cakes on birthdays, such as in Makati City where they provide free cakes to senior citizens on their birthday!

Senior Citizen Utility Bills Benefits

Senior citizens are entitled to a 5% discount from water and power bills if the accounts are in their name and their household does not consume over 30 cubic meters of water and 100 kWh or less for electricity.

To avail of the 5% senior citizen discount on Meralco, make sure that your electricity consumption for the month is less than 100 kilowatts per hour. You can visit any Meralco business center and present your senior citizen ID along with your Meralco bill under the senior citizen’s name and barangay certificates of two people who have known the senior citizen for at least one year.

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Discount in Grocery Stores for Seniors

Even if you cannot avail 20% on each item, you can enjoy a special 5% discount without VAT exemption on certain groceries as mandated by the Department of Agriculture and Department of Trade and Industry!

If you purchase groceries valued at about 1,300 pesos a week, you can avail yourself of a 5% discount on retail prices of prime commodities and necessities. This includes rice, bread, corn, fresh, canned, or processed chicken, beef, and pork, fresh eggs, coffee, creamer, and sugar, fresh fruit and vegetables, garlic and onions, cooking oil and salt, noodles, canned sardines, and canned tuna, fresh milk and other dairy products, detergents, electrical supplies, light bulbs, batteries, and geriatric diapers. 

For example, if you or your senior citizen loved one needs Ensure Gold milk product, you can buy this product at any grocery store or establishment at a discounted price!

This discount applies in supermarkets, convenience stores, and drug stores as long as you bring your senior card with you as well as your OSCA purchase booklet that you received along with your senior card. Just present your OSCA-issued senior citizen ID in order to avail of the benefits.

Senior Citizen Philhealth Benefits

As stipulated by Republic Act 10645, every Filipino senior citizen is entitled to receive PhilHealth coverage in healthcare facilities that are accredited by the government. 

Even without the Member Data Record (MDR), seniors can avail themselves of medical treatments by just presenting their senior citizen ID. This Philhealth coverage benefits for senior citizens is in addition to the standard 20% discount and VAT exemption when admitted to private hospitals. 

Philhealth also offers benefits to senior citizen members, including mandatory coverage in accredited medical facilities in the country. For members who have been confined in private hospitals, the 20% senior discount and VAT exemption will be subtracted from the total amount first before the Philhealth benefit is applied.

Philhealth also has death benefits for senior citizens. If a pensioner cannot claim their Philhealth benefits personally, an authorization letter must be presented to the Philhealth officer. SSS death claim checklist is available online at the SSS website.

Senior citizen hospitalization benefits in the Philippines are also largely due to PhilHealth.

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As long as you have not reached the age of 70 years and you still have other sources of income aside from your pension, you can still apply for a loan at Digido. 

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Written by: Sean Martin D. Plantado

Author pages:
Sean Martin Plantado is the head of Customer Care Dept. and Online Sales Dept. of Digido Finance Corp. creating articles, blogs, and other learning mediums that helps Filipinos struggling on their financial literacy. Sean also loves Cycling, Photography, Cinematography, Online gaming, Fine Arts, and dreams of becoming a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

Reviewed by: Rafael Hular

Author pages:
Rafael “Raffy” L. Hular is, the Finance and Accounting Manager. of Digido Finance Corp., monitoring and controlling the flow of cash that comes in and out of the company to meet the company’s business needs, preparing the financial reports and analysis of income and expenses, and monitoring tax compliance.  Raffy loves reading Japanese comics called manga and watching Japanese animated cartoon series. He dreams of establishing his own Accounting and Auditing Firm and teaching in a University.