The Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) organized an online orientation on the rights and privileges of senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) on September 9, 2022.

Twenty-one senior citizens and two PWDs from PCAF attended the orientation.

Quezon City Office for the Senior Citizen Affairs Division Head Daniel Oro discussed Republic Act (RA) 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, that grants additional benefits to senior citizens and maximizes their contributions to nation building.

According to RA 9994, senior citizens are entitled to 20% discount and exemption from the value-added tax (VAT), if applicable, on the sale of certain goods and services from all establishments, for the exclusive use and enjoyment or availment of the senior citizen.

Other highlighted privileges discussed during the orientation were the exemption from payment of individual income taxes, provision of express lanes in all commercial and government establishments, and free medical and dental services and diagnostic/laboratory fees, subject to the guidelines to be issued by the Department of Health, in coordination with the PhilHealth.

On the other hand, National Council on Disability Affairs Planning Officer Jonalyn Lucas presented RA 10754, otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability.

Similar to senior citizens, PWDs are granted at least twenty percent (20%) discount and exemption from VAT and provided with express lanes in all commercial and government establishments.

PWDs are also entitled to educational assistance through the provision of scholarships and other incentives, provided that PWD applicants meet the minimum admission requirements.

Moreover, PWDs are granted equal opportunity for employment under RA 10524, which expands the positions reserved for PWDs.

Also discussed during the orientation were the different types of disabilities under RA 7277, or the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability. These are psychosocial disability, disability due to chronic illness, learning disability, mental disability, visual disability, orthopedic disability, and communication disability. | JCL