January 30, 2010
Villar warns Palace against vetoing of 'Senior Citizens Act'
Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Senator Manny Villar expects a backlash from the people should Malacañang veto the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, which was enacted by Congress recently.
The new measure grants additional benefits and privileges to over four million senior citizens.
"The Senior Citizens Bill has been widely anticipated by our people, particularly the elderly and their families. That is why we prioritized this bill in the Senate. I have had discussions with senior citizens and they really want this bill passed in order to maximize the benefits of the 20-percent discount earlier granted to them," said Villar.
It was reported that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is hesitant to sign the new legislation, which was adopted by both chambers of the Congress already, as it could take its toll on the collection of the value added tax (VAT). Last year, around P76 billion VAT was collected last year. This year, it is expected to reach P90 billion.
The bill seeks to exempt the elderly from the 12-percent VAT. The exemption would enable the elderly to fully avail of the 20 percent senior citizens' discount as provided for under the Senior Citizens Act or Republic Act 7342.
Under the measure, purchases made by senior citizens will be exempt from the 12 percent VAT such that the senior citizens shall enjoy their full 20-percent discount.
Covered by the measure are medicines, influenza and pneumococcal vaccines, and other medical supplies, accessories and equipment; professional fees of attending physicians and licensed professional health workers, medical and dental services, and diagnostic and laboratory fees; actual fare for land transportation travel in public utility vehicles; actual transportation fare for domestic and air transport services and sea shipping vessels; utilization of services in hotels and similar lodging establishments; admission fees in theaters, cinema houses, concert halls; funeral and burial services for the death of senior citizens.
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