PERSONS with disabilities (PWDs) will be entitled to a 5% special discount on basic necessities starting next month, according to the latest regulations released by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

BIR issued Tuesday Revenue Regulations (RR) no. 9-2019, amending RR no. 5-2017, granting PWD a 5% special discount on the regular retail price of basic necessities and prime commodities. They are not exempt from 12% value-added tax (VAT).

“Every PWD shall enjoy a special discount of five percent (5%) of the regular retail price, without exemption from the value-added tax (VAT) of basic necessities and prime commodities,” the BIR said in a statement.

The discount is limited to purchases not exceeding to P1,300 “per calendar week without carry-over of the unused amount,” it said.

The items purchased should only be for the PWD’s own consumption, it said.

The regulations will be effective as early as next month or 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in any two newspapers.

Basic necessities were defined as goods “vital to the needs of consumers” while prime commodities are goods that are “essential” to them.

Necessities include rice, corn, root crops, bread, fresh, dried or canned fish and other marine products; fresh pork, beef and poultry meat; fresh eggs, potable water in bottles and containers; fresh and processed milk; fresh vegetables and fruits; locally manufactured instant noodles; coffee, coffee creamer; sugar, cooking oil, salt, laundry soap, detergent, firewood, charcoal, candles, household liquefied petroleum gas and kerosene.

Meanwhile, prime commodities include flour, dried, processed or canned pork, beef and poultry meat; dairy products not falling under basic necessities; onions, garlic, vinegar, patis, soy sauce, toilet soap, fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides; poultry, livestock and fishery feeds and veterinary products; paper, school supplies, nipa shingles, sawali, cement, clinker, GI sheets, hollow blocks, plywood, plyboard, construction nails, batteries, electrical supplies, lightbulbs and steel wire.

The regulations were signed by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III on Aug. 8 and also by BIR Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay.

Republic Act. No. 20754 or An Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of PWD entitles PWDs to a 20% discount and VAT exemption on medicine, hotel and restaurant services, theater and concert tickets, among others.

Currently, PWDs also enjoy a 20% discount and VAT exemption on medical and dental services and domestic air and sea transportation fares, land transportation fare, and funeral and burial services. — Beatrice M. Laforga