June 14, 2024

The mandatory 20 percent discount for senior citizens and persons with disability may now be availed for online transactions, according to a joint memorandum circular (JMC) signed by officials of seven government offices.

JMC 1 issued May 6 by officials of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Social Welfare and Development, National Commission of Senior Citizens, National Council on Disability Affairs, Department of Health, and Department of the Interior and Local Government states that the 20 percent discount should also apply to purchases made online or through SMS (text messaging).

The JMC was issued after these agencies received countless reports that online stores do not provide the mandatory 20 percent discount for medicines, tickets, food with 12 percent value-added tax exemption  and five percent discount for basic and prime commodities.

Online transactions including the purchase of necessities for senior citizens and the differently-abled have significantly increased when lockdowns were implemented in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The mandatory discount to these special sectors has not been fully implemented, as many online stores or applications do not have features that show an option for discounts for senior citizens and the differently-abled.

The JMC has directed online stores to add a feature where clients may click a link to avail of the discount.

The JMC requires senior citizens and PWDs to screen shot their identification card, purchase booklets, doctor’s medical prescription and send to the seller to avail of the discount.

For purchases done by phone or text, the JMC states that store personnel should first ask the buyer whether they are a senior citizen or PWD and compute the discounted amount to pay.

When the items ordered are delivered, the original ID and purchase booklet should be presented to the delivery man, or the beneficiaries will pay the full amount.

The JMC is expected to take full effect in September. – Rimaliza A. Opiña