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P500 monthly grocery discount for seniors, PWDs to begin March - Romualdez

March 3 ------ The near-doubling of senior citizens and persons with disabilities' (PWDs) discount on groceries and other prime commodities to P500 per month is guaranteed for implementation this March.  


Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) officials led by Undersecretary Carolina Sanchez, met with Romualdez Tuesday night, Feb. 27 and informed him that they were amenable to his request for additional discounts for the elderly and PWDs, and that this would be implemented by next month. The Leyte 1st district congressman earlier sought a hike in the five percent discount seniors and PWDs enjoy each week on groceries, currently capped at a total purchase value of P1,500, which translates to a weekly discount of P65, or P260 per month. He said this was no longer appropriate given the increasing cost of living.  “I am delighted to welcome the imminent implementation of increased discounts for our senior citizens and PWDs,” said Romualdez, leader of the 300-plus strong House of Representatives.  


Sanchez said that while the process of consultation with stakeholders is still ongoing, the necessary inter-agency circular to implement the additional discount would likely be issued and take effect within March. “It’s a joint issuance between the DA (Department of Agriculture), DTI and the DOE (Department of Energy),” she explained. “We’re working so that the usual P65 per week discount for senior citizens and PWDs may be increased to P125."  


She noted however, that the discounts cover only basic goods and prime commodities, or typical items consumed daily, such as rice, corn, bread, meat, fish, chicken, eggs, cooking oil, sugar, vegetables, fruits, onions, garlic, as well as fresh and processed milk, except medical grade milk. Romualdez said the initiative to provide additional discounts for senior citizens and PWDs "demonstrates the commitment of President Marcos to promoting inclusivity and social justice". “I commend the efforts of the DTI and other concerned agencies for their diligence and commitment to advancing this crucial initiative. Their dedication to ensuring the timely implementation of these increased discounts is truly commendable and reflects our shared vision of a more inclusive and caring nation,” concluded the Speaker. 




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