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.
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.