Despite the aches and pains that come with age, there are certain advantages to being older.
Filipino senior citizens now have access to benefits that help them manage their finances and health, improve their quality of life, and contribute to society.
There’s a legislation that made this possible, the importance of a senior citizen ID, and the perks Filipino seniors receive when they turn 60 are all discussed here.
What Is the Senior Citizen Act?
In 1992, the Philippine Congress passed Republic Act No. 7432, titled “An Act to Maximize the Contribution of Senior Citizens to Nation Building, Grant Benefits, and Special Privileges, and for Other Purposes.”
It enhanced government aid to persons and institutions caring for the elderly. It mandated the establishment of an Office of Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA) in every city and municipality.
It also detailed their benefits, which included a 20% discount on some services.
The Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003, or Republic Act No. 9257, extended these benefits.
Educational help and express lanes for the elderly and utility rebates for organizations that care for them are among the additional benefits.
Under Republic Act No. 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, senior citizen benefits increased even more.
Supplementary health services, a social pension for poor elders, a 5% electricity bill discount, and required PhilHealth coverage are new benefits.
What Is The Senior Citizen ID?
The card issued by the OSCA office of the city or municipality where the older person resides is known as a senior citizen ID. This locally issued ID is accepted all around the country.
Eligibility and Requirements for Senior Citizen ID
You must complete the following requirements to obtain a senior citizen ID from your local OSCA:
- 60 years old
- Spent at least six months in city or municipality
How To Get Senior Citizen ID (Identification Card)
The specific criteria may differ depending on the city or municipality, so be sure to contact or phone your local OSCA office to obtain the relevant paperwork and credentials.
The following are the steps to get Senior Citizens ID:
Step 1: Pick up an application form for a senior citizen ID from your local OSCA office or download one from your city’s website.
Step 2: Submit the completed form, your recent 1″x1″ photo along with at least two of following documentation, to the OSCA office:
- Certificate True Copy of Birth
- Drivers License
- Postal ID
- Voter’s certificate or Voters ID
- NBI Clearance
- Police clearance
- Certificate of the previous residence
or any other documentation with your name, date of birth, and current address
The OSCA staff may be able to help you fill out the application form if you need it. Bring someone (like a relative or caregiver), to assist you in the necessary processing.
Step 3: Your municipal/city OSCA office will notify you when your ID is ready to pick up. In some OSCA offices, IDs can be processed in as little as 10-15 minutes.
Step 4: Before leaving the OSCA office, double-check that all of the information on your ID is accurate.
What Is The Cost Of Applying For Senior Citizen ID?
The processing and issue of a senior citizen ID and the purchasing booklet are both free of charge.
Benefits for Senior Citizens
As a senior citizen in the Philippines, you are entitled to the following benefits:
- A 20% discount is available on a limited number of items and services.
- Essential and prime commodities, as well as utility bills, are discounted by 5%.
- Individuals are exempt from paying income taxes (for seniors who are minimum wage earners)
- PhilHealth coverage is required.
- Retirement benefits from GSIS and SSS
In business and government establishments, express lanes or priority slots are available for senior citizens.
Free medical and dental treatments, including x-rays, computed tomography scans, and blood tests, are available in government facilities.
The government provides help to older people who are able and willing to work.
Those who seek to continue their secondary and higher education, vocational and technical training, or pursue short-term courses in public and private institutions can receive financial aid.
Senior persons who meet the minimal entry requirements may receive assistance in the form of:
- Monetary assistance
- Subsidies on books, instructional materials, and a uniform allowance.
Exemption from paying training fees for private and government-sponsored socioeconomic programs, subject to guidelines issued by the DTI, DOLE, DAR, TESDA, and DOST-TRC.
Social safety nets such as food, medicine, and financial support are available during economic hardships and needs.