By Mariel Alison L. Aguinaldo
Senior citizen discounts are also honored in online and proxy transactions, reminded the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) during a consumer care session held on August 20.
Online transactions are purchases done on an online platform, including food and grocery delivery applications. Proxy transactions, on the other hand, are purchases done on behalf of a senior citizen, especially when the latter is unable to leave the house.
For online purchases, the consumer must inform the seller about the discount at the very start of the transaction. This is so the seller can apply the discount before the final payment is settled. For validation, the consumer must be ready to present the identification card issued by the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA).
In the case of proxy transactions, the representative must bring their own valid government identification document, the senior citizen’s OSCA-issued identification card, and an authorization letter by the senior citizen. While there is no mandated format for the latter, the DTI recommends including the senior citizen’s name, address, OSCA-issued identification card number, and signature.
Consumers must note, however, that different discounts apply for different kinds of goods.
Basic needs and prime commodities, which include the likes of rice and fresh and processed meat products, entail a 5% discount without exemption from the value-added tax (VAT). Senior citizens may avail of this discount in supermarkets, grocery stores, and convenience stores but not in wet markets, cooperative stores, and other kinds of small stores and stalls.
Goods and services under the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 entail a 20% discount with VAT exemption. These include medical and dental services, domestic transportation, dining, and recreation.
In the event that a seller is offering a promotional discount, a senior citizen can only avail of whichever is higher. For example, if the price of a product is discounted by 50%, the senior citizen can of avail of that, and only that; their 5% or 20% senior citizen discount privilege no longer applies.
Should an establishment refuse to acknowledge the senior citizen’s discount, the consumer may file a complaint directly to the OSCA office where the establishment is located. These offices can usually be found at the city hall.