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Seniors, PWDs get higher goods discount next week

March 22 ------ The revised rules on the 5-percent special discount on basic goods and prime commodities for senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) were signed on Thursday, effectively raising the cap for their weekly grocery discount from P65 to P125 starting next week. 


The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), one of the three agencies that will oversee the implementation of the revised rules, led the signing of a new joint administrative order that will be published on Monday, March 25. Once published, it will take effect immediately. “We recognize the valuable contributions of our senior citizens and persons with disabilities to our society, and this initiative reiterates our unwavering commitment to ensure their access to essential goods,” Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said during the signing. 


Aside from the DTI, the two other signatories are the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Energy (DOE). Goods covered are those defined in the Price Act, products that are considered essential for sustenance, especially during calamities and other emergencies. Basic necessities on the DTI’s watch include canned fish and other marine products, processed milk, coffee, laundry soap, detergent, candles, salt, bottled water, and locally manufactured instant noodles. 


For its part, the DA mandate covers rice, corn, cooking oil, fresh and dried marine products, fresh eggs, fresh pork, beef and poultry meat, fresh milk, fresh vegetables, root crops, sugar, and fresh fruits. As for the DOE, it is responsible for household liquefied petroleum gas and kerosene. Examples of prime commodities under DTI supervision are flour, processed and canned pork, beef and poultry, vinegar, fish sauce, toilet soap, paper, school supplies, and batteries. Those under the DA include dried pork, beef and poultry meat, onion, garlic, fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides, among others. 


The DTI said the special discount for these items should be for the exclusive use of senior citizens and PWDs, with no provision allowing any unused amount to be carried over to the next week. It also clarified that the discount was different from the 20-percent statutory discount granted under Republic Act No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, as well as those under RA. 10754 or the Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of PWDs. 




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