How much discount are senior citizens entitled to get?

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Dgital Multimedia Reporter | February 01,2024 - 03:57 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines – How much discount should a senior citizen be entitled? Is it 20 percent, or 32 percent? Can establishments even impose limitations on these perks for the elderly?

The internet is recently awash with discussions and debates surrounding discounts and other perks granted to senior citizens, following reports of several establishments’ apparent failure to comply with these mandates.

Even here in Cebu, a city councilor expressed concerns after receiving complaints from elderlies, accusing businesses of denying them their discounts.

READ MORE: Establishments not implementing senior citizen discount may face closure

These benefits and gratuities granted to senior citizens are covered by the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, or Republic Act (RA) No. 9994.

Read on to learn more about it, and why these discounts and perks matter.

Who are considered senior citizens?

Considered a vulnerable sector in society, seniors deserve respect, care, and protection from all stakeholders.

One way of showing support for the elderly is by providing them with various discounts and benefits, through the Expanded Senior Citizens Act.

Under RA No. 9994, a Filipino who already reached 60 years old is considered a senior citizen. The law also applies to people holding dual citizenship and who have resided in the Philippines for at least six months.

How to avail of senior citizen discounts, perks?

A senior citizen only needed to present his or her valid senior citizen ID issued by the government. Here in Cebu City, they can get a senior citizen ID at the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) once they are eligible to do so.

The ID is free and valid for life.

It is also important to remember that senior citizens wanting to avail of certain perks and discounts from businesses must also be present upon showing their ID.

This is why some elderlies ask younger relatives to accompany them.


The Expanded Senior Citizens Act allows senior citizens a 12 percent exemption from value-added tax (VAT), on top of the 20 percent discount. This brings the total discount percentage to 32 percent.

The computation involved getting the VAT Exempt Sales at 12 percent, and then applying the 20 percent discount.

For example, an elderly decided to dine in a restaurant, present their senior citizen, and buy a total of P1,000.

With the VAT exemption, the amount would be reduced to around P892 or P893. Then this will be further subtracted with the 20 percent discount, which means the senior citizen’s final bill would be around P713.


Step 1: VAT Exempt Sales = Initial Bill ÷ 1.12

Step 2: Senior Citizen Discount = VAT Exempt Sales x 20%


Section 4(a) of RA 9994 entitled senior citizens the privilege of 20 percent discount and VAT exemption from the following:

  • Health services such as professional fees of doctors, medical facilities, outpatient clinics, home health care services as well as medicines, vaccines and other medical supplies and equipment as determined by DOH.
  • Public transportation fares, from air, land to sea transport.
  • Services in hotels, restaurants, and other leisure establishments which included cinemas and other entertainment venues.
  • Funeral and burial services.

Other perks

Aside from VAT exemption, here are other government-mandated perks and incentives granted to senior citizens in the Philippines

  • Pension
  • Retirement benefits from SSS, GSIS, and Pag-IBIG
  • Express lanes in government offices as well as commercial establishments


RA 9994 also imposes penalties on anyone or businesses that fail to comply with the discounts and perks extended to senior citizens.

  • For the first offense, a fine of not less than P50,000 but not more than P100,000, or imprisonment of not less than six months but not more than two years, or both, at the discretion of the court.
  • For the second offense, a fine of not less than P100,000 but not more than P200,000, or imprisonment of not less than two years but not more than six years, or both, at the discretion of the court.
  • For the third offense, a fine of not less than P200,000 but not more than P500,000, or imprisonment of not less than six years but not more than 10 years, or both, at the discretion of the court. In addition, the business permit, permit to operate, franchise, and other similar privileges of the offender shall be revoked or canceled.

Administrative sanctions are also included, which could range from suspension or revocation of business licenses, permits, or accreditations, for government agencies or officials who fail to enforce the law.



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