Elderly, PWDs get 5% special discount for online purchases

Inflation places a very high burden on poor households that are largely hand-to-mouth consumers. Skyrocketing food prices force low-income households to avoid starvation by eating lower quality food, potentially affecting the health of family members. For millions of senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) nationwide, paying more for essential goods like food and medicine can be devastating.

That’s the reason why the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is encouraging senior citizens and PWDs to maximize the use of their 5 percent special discount for Basic Necessities and Prime Commodities (BNPCs) on their transactions made online, and via phone, text or call.

This came about following the release of the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 01, series of 2022, or the “Guidelines on the Provision of the Mandatory Statutory Benefits and Privileges of the Senior Citizens and Persons with Disabilities on their Purchases through Online [e-commerce] and Phone Call/SMS.”

This discount is on top of the 20 percent regular discount that covers different goods and services.

DTI-Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo said: “These benefits and privileges under the said Circular, including the 5 percent discount on BNPC purchases, are meant to be utilized especially by senior citizens and persons with disabilities all year round, and not only amid the pandemic.”

Under the 5 percent discount, senior citizens and PWDs have a maximum purchase amount of P1,300 a week for both online and offline transactions, without carryover of the unused amount.

The amount shall be spent for the personal and exclusive consumption of the senior citizen and the PWD, and must be spent on at least four kinds of items of BNPCs.

The Trade department said in a statement on Wednesday that in order to receive the discount, one must inform the merchant that he or she is a senior citizen or PWD before placing orders.

Upon doing so, the person must submit supporting documents such as a scanned copy or screenshot of the ID, as well as the front and last pages of the purchase booklet.

The same proof of discount entitlement should be presented upon the delivery of goods and orders, if the purchase was made online or through a text or phone call.

Under the Basic Necessities specified in the amended Price Act are: All kinds and variants of rice; corn; all kinds of bread (pastries and cakes not included); fresh, dried and canned fish and other marine products (including frozen and in various modes of packaging); fresh pork, beef and poultry meat; all kinds of fresh eggs (excluding quail eggs); potable water in bottles and containers.

Fresh and processed milk (excluding milk labeled as food supplement); fresh vegetables including root crops; fresh fruits; locally manufactured instant noodles; coffee and coffee creamer; all kinds of sugar (excluding sweetener); all kinds of cooking oil; salt; powdered, liquid, bar laundry and detergent soap; firewood; charcoal; all kinds of candles are also among the basic necessities.

Household liquefied: petroleum gas, not more than 11kgs. LPG content once every five months bought from LPG dealers; and kerosene, not more than 2 liters per month, are also included.

Meanwhile under the Prime Commodities are: flour; dried, processed and canned pork, beef and poultry meat; dairy products not falling under Section 1(a) of the DTI-DA-DOE JAO or the dairy products that do not fall under the basic necessities category mentioned above.

Also included in the Prime Commodities are: onions and garlic; vinegar, patis, and soy sauce; toilet/bath soap; fertilizer; pesticides; herbicides; poultry feeds, livestock feeds and fishery feeds; veterinary products; paper, school supplies; nipa shingle; sawali; cement, clinker, GI sheets; hollow blocks; plywood; plyboard; construction nails; batteries (excluding cell phone and automotive batteries); electrical supplies and light bulbs; and steel wires.

The DTI-CPG, through its Consumer Policy and Advocacy Bureau (CPAB) issues the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) list for BNPCs.

Under its jurisdiction, the Trade department monitors the price and supply of Basic Necessities such as canned sardines and other marine products; processed milk; coffee;  laundry soap; detergent; candles; bread; and salt.

The DTI also monitors the price and supply of Prime Commodities such as flour; canned pork; beef, and poultry meat; noodles; vinegar; soy sauce; patis; toilet soap; paper, school supplies; cement, clinker, among others.

For more information on JMC 22-01, click: https://bit.ly/3AC6ez8

For consumer-related concerns and queries, you may send an e-mail to ConsumerCare@dti.gov.ph or call One-DTI (1-384) hot line.