IT’S MORE FUN to be a senior citizen in the Philippines!

         Filipinos, especially senior citizens, have found out their benefits upon reaching the age of 60 in the symposium entitled “Senior Moments 101” last June 27, 2015 in UST’s AMV Multipurpose Hall.

         Speaker Atty. Romulo B. Macalintal, election lawyer and staunch advocate of senior citizens in the country, enlightened the attendees on what’s in store for them as they approach senior citizenship. He stressed that the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 under Republic Act (RA) 9994 empowers them to have a more meaningful and productive ageing while they continue to contribute in nation building. The government mandates that each senior citizen is entitled to receive discounts and be exempted from the Value-Added Tax (VAT) in different establishments such as restaurants, movie theaters, lodgings, drugstores, public transportations, funeral and burial services, and as well as professional fees of physicians, and other professions. Failure of any establishment to honor such discounts and privileges would penalize them. Aside from the discounts, senior citizens will also enjoy retirement benefits, educational and socioeconomic program assistance, free medical and dental services, free privileges on selected diagnostics and laboratory exams, express lanes in all commercial and governmental establishments, and more.

        On the other hand, Dr. Israel Francis A. Pargas, the vice president of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, expounded on the PhilHealth coverage as mandated in RA 10645. In RA 9994, all indigent senior citizens shall be enrolled and covered by the national health insurance program of PhilHealth. With the new RA 10645, all senior citizens, indigent or not, will be enrolled in PhilHealth. The steps on how they can be enrolled in this program were explained.

       “Senior Moments 101” was a fund-raising project of the USTHS Batch 71 and is fully supported by the UST Office of Alumni Relations. The beneficiary of this project is the Cottolengo Filipino, a shelter for physically and mentally challenged boys in Montalban, Rizal. Lulu Reclusado Nario

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