While the first week of October is designated ELDERLY FILIPINO WEEK by virtue of Proclamation No. 470 signed on Sept. 26, 1994, by then President Fidel V. Ramos1, the Filipino way of caring for our elderly extends over and above the norm. It can be said that for every Filipino family, Elderly Filipino Week runs throughout the year.
The senior citizen population in the country continues to grow. From 4.6 million senior citizens in 2000, the figure increased to 6.5 million in 2010, representing 6.9% of total population2. Philippine Statistics Authority projections estimate that by 2030, the senior citizens will make up about 11.5%3.
To address both present and future needs of this growing sector, key actions have been taken. Laws have been passed, programs have been designed and implemented, and local government units have been mobilized to ensure that the senior citizens will be given the proper care and support that they deserve.
Among the most significant benefits and privileges granted under The Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 (Republic Act 9994) is the grant of 20% discount and VAT-exemption covering the following4:
- Generic and branded medicines, vitamins, and mineral supplements (with doctor’s prescription)
- Hearing aids, eyeglasses, wheelchairs, crutches, dentures, and other medical supplies and equipment
- Lab tests such as blood tests, X-rays, etc.
- Professional fees of attending physicians and licensed health workers
- Domestic air and sea travel fares
- Fares on public transport such as jeepneys, buses, taxis, shuttle services, MRT, LRT, PNR, etc.
- Accommodation and amenities in hotels, beach resorts, mountain resorts, etc.
- Food, beverages, dessert, and other consumables for dine-in, take-out, drive-thru, and delivery orders
- Rental and other fees for gyms, badminton courts, tennis courts, ballroom dancing studios, bowling lanes, and other sports facilities
- Cinemas, museums, parks, theaters, concert halls, and other places of recreation
- Funeral and burial services for deceased senior citizens: hospital morgue, embalming, casket or urn, cremation, etc.
In addition, the elderly population are also entitled to the following benefits:
- Income tax exemption for minimum wage earners
- Training fee exemption on socio-economic programs
- Free medical and dental services in government facilities
- Free flu and pneumococcal vaccinations for indigent senior citizens
- Scholarships and financial assistance for seniors’ education in public and private schools
- Retirement benefits from SSS, GSIS, and Pag-IBIG
- Discounts in special programs for senior citizens
- Express lanes for senior citizens in all government offices and commercial establishments
With the passage of Republic Act No. 10645 in 2014, Philhealth coverage becomes automatic for every senior citizen in accredited healthcare centers in the Philippines5. Some local government units even exempt senior citizens from number coding scheme or even enjoy free parking.
These benefits and privileges that have been mandated by law and expanded according to specific needs are concrete manifestations of a communal, national commitment to Pharextend the best care to our elderly population, to the very people who have given us the best care and the best years of their lives.
Sources & References
1. Medina, M. (2018, October). Did You Know: 1st week of October is Elderly Filipino Week. Retrieved from
2. Binay, J. (2017, October). Caring for our senior citizens. Retrieved from https://news.mb.com.ph/2017/10...
3. Philippine Statistics Authority. (2014, July). A 142 Million Philippine Population by 2045? Retrieved from https://psa.gov.ph/sites/defau...
4. Zoleta, V. (2018, July). Senior Citizen Discounts and Benefits: Important Fact You Might Not Know. Retrieved from
5. Philippine Statistics Authority. (2006, April). Philippine Population Would Reach Over 140 Million by the Year 2040. Retrieved from https://psa.gov.ph/sites/defau...