Seniors May Soon Enjoy Bigger Discounts on Utility Expenses
The House Committee on Senior Citizens approved House Bills 1903 and 3040, which seeks to increase the senior citizen discounts on water and electricity expenses. Lawmakers agreed to raise the current five percent discount to 10 percent.
Senior Citizen Party-list Rep. Rodolfo Ordanes, who authored HB 3040, explained the discount in a press statement sent to Esquire Philippines.
“Apart from doubling the discount on water and electricity, we also expanded its coverage. At the moment, only seniors who consume 100 kwh of electricity and 30 cubic meters of water are eligible for the discount. That is too limiting and is almost insignificant,” said Ordanes in Filipino.
Through HB 3040, Ordanes seeks to expand the consumption coverage to 200 kwh for electricity and 50 cubic meters for water.
Apart from raising the discount and expanding the coverage, Ordanes also wants to eliminate the value-added tax on electricity and water bills for senior citizens.
“Our senior citizens will surely feel the benefit of this bill once it becomes a law,” says Ordanes.
At the moment, the secretariat of the Committee on Senior Citizens is finalizing the report so that it can be forwarded to the Committee on Rules and be calendared for plenary deliberations, where it will eventually be put into vote by all lawmakers at the House of Representatives.
“Senior citizens wishing to avail of power and water discounts should start applying now for the perks that are now in effect under the present law so that when the updated law takes effect, the seniors can enjoy the discounts right away,” said Ordanes.
To avail of current discounts, eligible senior citizens can go to any Meralco Business Center and show proof of age and citizenship, proof of residence, and proof of billing. The applications will be processed within 15 days and the discount, if approved, will be applied during the next billing period.
The discount is granted per household, regardless of the number of senior citizens residing therein, as stated in RA 9994.