Online shopping sites urged to give online discount to senior citizens, PWDs

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has called on e-commerce platforms to honor the privileges granted to senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWD) by adopting the guidelines issued by the government and improving their existing system to ensure that the mandatory discounts are given whenever they purchase goods or services, whether in online, telephone, or mobile transactions.

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The government earlier released the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 01, series of 2022, entitled “Guidelines on the Provision of the Mandatory Statutory Benefits and Privileges of the Senior Citizens and Persons with Disabilities on their Purchases through Online (e-commerce) and Phone Call/SMS”.   

Senior citizens and PWDs are entitled to avail of the 20% discount, with 12% VAT exemption on their purchase of specific goods and services under RA 9257 and RA 9442 as amended; and 5% special discount for basic necessities and prime commodities, for their exclusive use and enjoyment.

Under the 5% discount, senior citizens and persons with disabilities have a maximum purchase amount of P1,300.00 a week for both online and offline transactions, without carryover of the unused amount. The amount shall be spent for the personal and exclusive consumption of the Senior Citizen and the PWD, and must be spent on at least four kinds of items of basic goods and prime commodities.

Moreover, the circular specifies that establishments are encouraged to redesign their business and websites to accommodate the provision of discounts for senior citizens and persons with disabilities.

The redesign may include the establishment’s acceptance of the Senior Citizen or PWD’s submission of his or her ID; and the use of discount vouchers or codes, whether physical or electronic, reflecting the applicable discount that may be granted, provided that the discount shall not be lower than what is prescribed under the guidelines, or any applicable law.

“Online shopping platforms need to reprogram their offering to incorporate a feature that allows discounts for persons with disabilities and senior citizens,” said DTI secretary Ramon M. Lopez.  

To receive the discount, one must declare to the merchant prior to placing orders that he or she is a senior citizen or a PWD and submit supporting documents, such as a scanned copy or screenshot of ID, as well as the front and last pages of the purchase booklet. The same proof of discount entitlement should be presented upon the delivery of goods and orders.

“The Department reminds senior citizens and persons with disabilities to only purchase from verified online platforms to avoid having their personal details used for other purposes,” said DTI-Consumer Protection Group undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo.

JMC No. 01, series of 2022, was jointly issued by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), DTI, National Commission of Senior Citizens, National Council on Disability Affairs, Department of Health, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

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