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RA 9994 meaningless in DTI-compliant promos

12:04 AM February 02, 2016

SECTION 4 of Republic Act No. 9994 (The Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010) grants senior citizens a 20-percent discount and an exemption from the value-added tax (12 percent) on goods and services enumerated therein.

In case of “promos” where prices of such goods and services are reduced, the law does not permit “double discounts.” Seniors can avail themselves of only one (and, of course, they will opt for the bigger discount). However, the Department of Trade and Industry has issued a ruling to the effect that if such “promos” are not registered with it, then the seniors can claim both discounts. To know if those “promos” are registered or not, the seniors must look into the fine prints at the bottom of flyers or posters that usually read: “Per DTI Permit No. __”

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But assuming things are compliant with DTI rules on such goods and services “on sale,” everyone pays the same prices regardless of age. And there lies the rub: The exemption granted to seniors from the VAT becomes meaningless, too. This runs roughshod over the clear language of the law.

—STEPHEN L. MONSANTO, Monsanto Law Office, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, [email protected]

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TAGS: Department of Trade and Industry, DTI, letter, opinion, promo, reaction, Tax
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