June 17, 2021

PWDs campaigned for a 20% discount on internet purchases for the elderly

On Wednesday, a member of the House of Representatives asked relevant government agencies to develop and execute rules extending the 20% discount for elderly people and people with disabilities (PWDs) to all online purchases.

Many elderly people and PWDs have turned to purchasing online due to the current coronavirus epidemic and limitations on their travels, according to Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas, who filed House Resolution 1880.

Vargas, who heads the House Committee on Social Services, lamented the “lack of clear guidelines” from national organizations charged with enforcing the law’s required reductions for these industries.

“Millions of Filipino elderly people and people with disabilities are unable to take advantage of the advantages that they rightly deserve under the legislation due to the absence of clear instructions from implementing authorities on special discounts on online transactions,” he added.

Vargas pointed out that current regulations provide a 20% discount to the elderly and those with disabilities on purchases, but that there are no exceptions for online transactions, according to him.

“The Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities and the Expanded Senior Citizens Act make no difference in the application of their rights and special discounts between offline and online transactions, and must therefore be understood to be available for online purchases,” Vargas stated.

Consumer advocacy organizations have requested the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to issue rules allowing the elderly and people with disabilities (PWDs) to get discounts for internet purchases as early as October 2020, according to Vargas.

Vargas stated the DSWD and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) “have verified that they have yet to issue the recommendations following significant discussions with other national government agencies” as of May of this year.

He reminded these agencies that it is the government’s responsibility to guarantee that public services, particularly for the disadvantaged and disadvantaged, are made available as soon as possible.

“Given the importance of online transactions in the daily lives and livelihoods of Filipinos, particularly those in the senior citizens and persons with disabilities sectors, the government must establish and properly implement the necessary guidelines for special discounts on online transactions to protect the rights and welfare of the elderly and persons with disabilities.

The resolution also calls on the National Commission for Senior Citizens, the National Commission on Disability Affairs, and other relevant government organizations to develop and implement the recommendations as soon as possible.

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