senior discount

senior discount for foreigners

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Many foreigners, residing in the Philippines, have or would like to have a senior citizen card in the Philippines.
Filipino senior citizens enjoy a 20-percent discount on goods and services under Republic Act No. 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, which also relieved them of the 12 percent value added tax.
It would save a lot of money for those expats who are on a tight budget.
But be careful: Foreigners who do not have a Filipino citizenship MAY NOT use the Philippine citizenship card to get discounts in supermarkets, restaurants and other establishments mentioned in the Senior Citizens Act of the Philippines. Even if they were given one.

Senior citizen benefits

The law is clear and can be read HERE
However, in March 2012, representatives Rufus and Maximo Rodriguez have filed House Bill 4369 seeking to grant foreign senior citizens, residing in the Philippines, the same benefits granted to Filipino senior citizens. But so far this has not become law yet. In their explanatory note, the Rodriguezes said this is in recognition of the contributions of the foreign senior citizens who have contributed to the economy of the country.
If approved, the bill would grant foreign nationals, aged 60 above, the same benefits given to Filipino senior citizens. This includes discounts in establishments.
They may avail of these benefits after they have secured a senior citizens’ ID issued by the Office of Senior Citizens’ Affairs of the place where the elderly is resident, or a Philippine Retirement Authority Identification Card, or an alien certficate of registration i-card or any other document that shows the alien is at least 60 years old and a resident of the Philippines.

Not for foreigners yet

As Expats in the Philippines, we are visitors whether we are tourist or permanent residence or under SSRV: we have no right taking away the benefits that belong to the Filipino Citizens.
To clarify, Section 2 of Republic Act 9257 (Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003) defines that:

  • Senior citizen or elderly shall mean any resident citizen of the Philippines at least sixty (60) years old

The above is very clear and the operative word is citizen. A foreigner may be a permanent resident but not necessarily a Philippine citizen. A non-Philippine citizen, therefore, cannot legally acquire a Philippine senior citizen card.
Business establishments are well within their rights to respectfully ask for proof of Filipino citizenship.

  • Rule III, Article 5, Section 5.5 of RA 9257 Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) states that:
    • 5.5 IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENT refers to any document or proof of being a senior citizen which shall be used for the availment of benefits and privileges under the law, such as the following:
    • Identification card issued by the City or Municipal Mayor/Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) or of the barangay captain of the place where the senior citizen or the elderly resides
    • The passport of the elderly person or senior citizen concerned
    • Other documents that establish the senior citizen or elderly person is a citizen of the Republic and who is at least sixty (60) years of age

It may be worth mentioning also the great risks facing offenders.

  • Section 10 (Penalties) of the same act states that:
    • If the offender is an alien or a foreigner, he shall be deported immediately after the service of the sentence [six months or more imprisonment] without further deportation proceedings.

senior discount
Are you still going to use that card after knowing this?

But it is still OK to use the privilige lanes in restaurants, supermarkets and the like.

If you are interested you can also download pdf files from both, RA 9994 and House bill 4369, just click on these links.


  • james neathamer commented on 1 October, 2016 Reply

    As of today are senior citizens living in the philippines that are foreigners entitled to apply for a senior citizens card?

    • Dutch Expat commented on 3 October, 2016 Reply

      Hi James,
      Officially it is for Filipino citizens only, but some Barangays also issue these to Foreigners.
      If you have one, it can be used in Pharmacies and some restaurants and supermarkets.
      But as a foreigner, officially you are not allowed to use the Senior Citizen card.

  • R. Chapman commented on 9 February, 2017 Reply

    You say it is more fun in the Philippines but little regard to the seniors you are trying to reside here. We bring hundreds of millions of peso to the Philippines. By granting foreign residents a senior card you are not depriving philipino citizens of anything. The monies brought into the country far out weighs the 20% or VAT discounts.

  • Don Pender commented on 27 May, 2017 Reply

    pretty hard getting thru to a lot of foreigners that a resident is NOT a citizen

  • Danny commented on 26 July, 2017 Reply

    Concider the benefits that a retired elderly person that has decided to make the Philippines their home it seem a slap in their face they should still be entitles to seniors discount without having be a citizen , it may well seem a trivial ammount however where putting into the local community far more than we take out surely those in power can see this plus seniors discount would encourage other senior citizen from other counties to both move and or holiday in this beautiful country not allowing seniors from other countries discount is discriminatory ” like saying we don’t mind taking your money but won’t do you any favors “

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