My Mom misplaced her Senior Citizen ID a few months ago. She has yet to make that trip to the Quezon City hall to secure a new one and until then, she would shrug her shoulders every time she foregoes an opportunity to get a discount on her purchase.
Last month, she lined up at a bus terminal to buy a ticket for a one-way trip to La Union. I heard her mention to the cashier that she is a Senior Citizen and that she doesn’t have her ID in her possession and for the cashier to please give her the discounted ticket price. The cashier looked quizzically at her and said that without my Mom’s SC ID, she cannot grant her the discount. My Mom dyes her hair a subtle shade of mahogany brown and would never leave the house without make up on. She is 71 years old but people would always mistake her for someone who is in her mid-50s. My Mom probably caught the cashier’s doubtful look because she immediately pulled her passport out of her bag and showed it to the ticket lady. However, without even uttering a word (or taking a glance at my Mom’s passport), the cashier punched the numbers on the ticket and handed it to my Mom. I did not need to look at the ticket; I knew right away that she did not grant my Mom her discount.
Is the Senior Citizen ID the only required document before a Senior Citizen is granted his government-mandated discounts?
The Expanded Senior Citizen Act of 2010 (RA 9994) states that senior citizens may avail of benefits and privileges under the Act upon presenting a valid and original Senior Citizen’s ID as proof of his or her eligibility.
But does it end there?
My mom volunteered to present her passport, a document bearing her photograph, her address, and her birth date. That should have been enough to prove that she is a senior citizen and she should be granted senior citizen discounts.
A careful review of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 9994, particularly Article 5.5, will lead you to realize that there are indeed ALTERNATIVE IDs that senior citizens may present, in the absence of their SC IDs, if only to prove that they are qualified to avail of SC benefits and privileges.
Article 5.5 defines these alternative IDs as any document or proof of being a senior citizen which may be used to avail of benefits and privileges under the Act and its Rules. It shall be any of the following:
- Senior Citizens’ ID card issued by the OSCA in the municipality where the elderly resides;
- The Philippine passport of the elderly person or senior citizen concerned; and
- Government-issued ID which reflects on its face the name, picture, date of birth and nationality of the senior citizen which includes any of the following:
- Digitized Social Security System ID
- Government Service Insurance System ID
- Professional Regulation Commission ID
- Integrated Bar of the Philippines ID
- Unified Multi-purpose ID (UMID)
- Driver’s License
Had I known these facts that day we were lined up at the ticket booth, I would have stepped up and demanded that my Mom be given her rightful privilege as a Filipino Senior Citizen.
Nonetheless, we took time off from work one Thursday morning and accompanied our 71-year-old mother to the Office of Senior Citizen Affairs at the QC Hall. She was issued a shiny new ID that she now proudly flashes whenever she is asked, “Senior na po kayo?”