Press Releases

Salceda trumpets gains from House joint panel hearings on SC, PWD perks

March 19th, 2024

The Joint Committees on Senior Citizens, Disability Affairs, and Ways and Means approved three substitute bills to House Bills No. 10061, 10062, and 10063, expanding senior citizens and persons with disability benefits during their final joint hearing on the subject today.

The joint hearings were conducted at the instruction of Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez on January 11, following reports of inconsistent application of senior citizens and PWD discounts.

“I congratulate my co-chairs, Rep. Rodolfo Ordanes, and Rep. Alfel Bascug, for the very productive discussions. We have approved three bills today, clarifying that discounts apply even with promo prices, introducing the SC and PWD discount on parking, a 15% utilities discount for lifeline consumption, an additional deduction of 25% on labor expenses for PWD and SC, and free training programs for the government,” Salceda said.

During the hearings, Salceda insisted on retaining the additional deductions on labor expenses to encourage the hiring of seniors and persons with disabilities.

Salceda also said that the SC and PWD discount should apply even with a bigger promo.

“If something is available to the general public, then by definition, it is not a privilege. The point is to ensure that the preferential treatment of PWDs and SC, as a shared responsibility of government and society at large, is preserved.”

Salceda adds that, over the course of the discussions, the hearings achieved other milestones.

“We were able to get Starbucks to do a 40% discount to compensate for misapplication of the standard discount. We got Grab and Angkas to improve ease of access to SC and PWD discounts. We got MERALCO to make applying for the discount on electric bills easier,” Salceda said.

“We got DTI, DA, and DOE to expand the SC and PWD discount on basic goods from P260 a month to P500 a month.”

“Based on our calculations, as a result of increased compliance and the expansion of the discount on basic goods, the hearings alone will result in as much as P112.6 billion in more benefits for seniors and PWDs this year alone. This does not account for the bills, yet.”

“From the date the Speaker instructed us to hold hearings, to the approval of the substitute bills, we finished our jobs in 60 days.”

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