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Officials should help make elderly aware of benefit

12:18 AM June 03, 2015

Romulo Macalintal, an advocate of senior citizens rights, in his letter “Unclaimed 5% discounts for senior citizens” (Opinion,” 4/24/15), wrote that most senior citizens are not aware of the power and water discount benefit and don’t bother about it because the amount is very small.

I shall add that some senior citizens (including myself) do complain to the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs about not being able to enjoy this benefit, but nothing happens. You write this office, but it doesn’t even bother to answer. Useless.

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The barangay officials who have recently been given allowances must help its senior citizens by informing them of this discount benefit. I believe the barangay chair has a complete list of its residents. The Association of Senior Citizens can also help through media (print and radio).

Macalintal’s quoted the power rate at P11/kWh, which is much cheaper than in Cebu where it is P11.75/kWh.

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Electricity. How can a senior citizen avail himself of the 5-percent discount when the electric meter is not exclusively his but common to all residents of the house? The solution is to grant every senior citizen a fixed monthly discount. In Cebu, the Visayan Electric Co. Inc. charges all electricity users a senior citizen subsidy rate; quite small, but when multiplied by the number of power users, the total accumulated amount would be substantial. I also believe this accumulated senior citizen subsidy fund should be used to offset the discount granted to qualified senior citizens. Brilliant idea.

Water. The discount is applied by water providers to the “water feed.” I taught cost accounting in college and I know that the total component cost to produce water should be the basic rate that must be applied. Since the water suppliers determine the water fee and we, senior citizens, do not know how they arrived at it, well, you know the result—lower discount.

I wrote several water providers and they answered that they have different forms and applied rates. Can the Department of Social Welfare and Development institute a uniform application form and rate?

—BERNARDO V. PERALTA, retired accounting professor, Cebu City

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TAGS: Department of Social Welfare and Development, Office for Senior Citizens Affairs, Romulo Macalintal, Senior citizens
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