The media loves to pit the millennials against the baby boomers. Apparently, they think we’re lazy, entitled, and narcissistic (to be fair, some of us actually make a killing posting several selfies a day – not me, obviously) while we’re supposed to consider them old-fashioned, narrow-minded, and politically incorrect.
Okay, while us millennials often cringe at the verbal diarrhea coming out of our boomer-aged politicians’ mouths, we certainly don’t forget the sacrifices that their generation made in raising us. And since a good percentage of them are now in their twilight years, it’s especially important that they don’t get left behind and neglected.
If you are currently working abroad and are providing for elderly parents back home or are approaching retirement age yourself, you might be relieved to discover that the Philippines affords its senior citizens some pretty nifty benefits, such as the following:
1. Exemptions from Number Coding Schemes in Makati City.
Should an MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) or city government officer hail your vehicle for coding violations in Makati City, you can present your senior citizen card and they’ll just send you off on your merry way.
(And hey, if you’re still driving past the age of 60, kudos to you, by the way.)
2. Free Parking in Quezon City.
For the first three hours inside a mall parking space anyhow. The process for qualifying varies from mall to mall, so just present your ID before parking to make sure.
3. Express Lanes at Groceries and Drugstores.
It can be quite hard for someone of an advanced age to stand in line for a long period of time while carrying a lot of goods. Thus, supermarkets, fast-food restaurants, pharmacies, and some public bathrooms designate a special lane for the elderly.
If you don’t see any, you can ask the establishment’s employees for assistance, and they’ll usually be more than happy to see you through to the front of the line.
4. Discounts, Discounts, Discounts.
Okay, so most of us are aware of the 20% discount that the 60 and above age group can avail of on medications, transportation, and even funeral expenses.
What a lot of people seem to be unaware of is that Filipino senior citizens are also entitled to a 5% discount on their water and electricity bills, so long as these are registered under their names and do not exceed 100 kWh and 30 cubic meters in consumption every month.
On a more exciting note, our country’s elderly can also avail of price cuts on the rental fees and charges for the use of facilities and equipment at recreational centers, as well as from hotels, restaurants, and other places of leisure.
All the more reason to spend time with and spoil your beloved grandchildren, no?
5. Educational Assistance.
As proof that learning should be a lifelong privilege, the Philippine government also allots grants, subsidies, financial aid, and scholarships to its senior citizens whether they opt to pursue a diploma at the secondary, tertiary, or post-tertiary levels.
This assistance also extends to vocational or technical training as well, and if they wish to take part in training sessions for socio-economic programs, they can be exempted from the seminar fee.
6. Mandatory Government Aid.
This comes in many different forms: social pensions, healthcare coverage, death benefits, and other such social safety nets. To learn more about how to avail of them, simply visit the nearest regulatory body or have someone inquire on your behalf.
Government hospitals or health centers often grant senior citizens free medical and dental check-ups, along with free vaccinations.
8. Tax Exemptions.
Long before the TRAIN law was a thing, seniors were accorded exemptions from income taxes under RA 9504.
As a caveat, the exemption is not quite automatic, so those who qualify for it will still need to visit the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to figure out how to go about things.
Growing old can be quite difficult. Your body no longer does as it is bid, your senses are dulled, and your memory is no longer what it once was.
But while an elderly person’s children and grandchildren may fail them, the country they helped build certainly shouldn’t, and one way that it can show its appreciation is by upholding privileges designed for the comfort and convenience of its oldest living generation.