If your parents or grandparents are already 60 years of age and above, that makes them a senior citizen. Most local governments have various benefits for senior citizens registered in the area. A notable example of this is the discounted (or free) cinema screening in Quezon City.
You may have noticed too that they enjoy up to 20% discount on food and transportation. This is one of the benefits extended to them by Republic Act 9994, more commonly known as the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010,” which also exempts them from Value Added Tax (VAT) on all establishments.
But did you also know that under R.A. 9994, senior citizens are also entitled to discounts on utility bills such as electricity and water?
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The Discount Provision
Under this Act, a senior citizen is entitled to a minimum 5% discount relative to the monthly dues on electricity and water utility bills, providing that they reside in said household. The stipulation for the discount also states that the billing for either or both must be under the senior citizen residing at the address registered.
One further stipulation is that that the monthly consumption does not exceed one hundred kilowatt hours (100 kWh) of electricity and thirty cubic meters (30 m’) of water.
Note that this privilege is granted per household regardless of how many registered senior citizens are residing there.
A second discount of 50% for electricity, water, and telephone utilities also exists; however, this discount applies to residential care institutions, group homes, and DSWD-accredited senior citizen centers. These only qualify if they are run by non-stock, non-profit domestic corporations completely devoted to the care of abandoned, neglected, unattached, or homeless senior citizens.
In order for residents to avail of the 5% discount on electricity and water utilities, they will need to submit an application for it to their utility provider personally, or through a representative. To do so, they will need to provide the following:
- Proof of age and citizenship
- Proof of billing, and note that the utility must have been registered under the senior citizen’s name and been in use over a year.
- Proof of residence
The 50% utility discount for care facilities requires that it be active over six months and have separate meters for the utilities/services in question.
Note that this must be applied for annually.
Remember that these are rights of senior citizens and must be respected by both the utility providers and by the agencies tasked to ensure that these benefits are enforced. It’s ideal that you be familiar with these benefits and the procedures regarding them even at a younger age.
These are just some of the benefits your parents (or grandparents) can enjoy – apart from being doted on by you – when they turn sixty, so let them know.
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