Seniors, PWDs to receive discount for e-commerce purchases

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 20) — On top of their current privileges on discounts in physical stores and facilities, senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) will soon be entitled to discounts and exemption on Value Added Tax (VAT) for their purchases made online, according to a Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) signed by seven government agencies.

The JMC, issued on May 6, states that senior citizens and PWDs are entitled to a 20% discount and 12% VAT-exempt on their purchase of goods and services, and 5% special discount for basic necessities and prime commodities.

Goods and services include:

- medicines and medical supplies

- professional fees of attending physicians/licensed professionals in private hospitals, medical facilities, outpatient clinics, and home health care services

- medical and dental services, diagnostics and laboratory fees

- public transportation fare

- utilization of services in hotels, restaurants, and recreation centers

- admission fees charged by theaters, cinema houses and concert halls, circuses, leisure and amusement

- food, drinks, desserts, and other consumables

- funeral and burial services

Basic necessities are described as goods vital to the needs of consumers for their sustenance and existence while prime commodities are goods not considered as basic necessities but essential to consumers.

When purchasing through the internet or online platform, the purchaser must declare that he/she is a senior citizen or a PWD prior to placement of order and attach a copy of their ID as proof.

In the event that the purchaser is both a senior citizen and PWD, the JMC states that he or she shall only be allowed to avail either of the two and will be asked to present their ID for confirmation.

It adds that businesses may reconfigure their business and delivery system/website/applications to add provisions where senior citizens and persons with disability can send a copy of their IDs.

If unavailable, businesses must provide an alternative manual process to recognize and honor the privileges of seniors and PWDs.

Discount vouchers or codes may also be used, it said.

The JMC was signed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Interior and Local Government, National Commission of Senior Citizen, Bureau of Internal Revenue, National Council for Disability Affairs, and Department of Health. It shall take effect thirty days from the date of publication.