DOT: It’s more fun to be a senior in Philippines


MANILA, Philippines—Soon it will be more fun being a senior citizen in the Philippines, which is heading toward becoming the first country in the world to give discounts to retirees of any nationality.

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez said Thursday that a policy is in the works that will entitle foreign senior citizens visiting the Philippines to the same 20 percent discount on goods and services enjoyed by elderly Filipinos.

“By the end of the year, the Philippines could be the first country in the world to grant discounts to all senior citizens arriving in the Philippines,” Jimenez said in a speech at a general membership meeting of the Makati Business Club.

Jimenez said the discount should apply to all goods and services discounted for Filipino seniors. The discount, he added, will show that the elderly are respected in the Philippines.

“It is the right thing to do: to show that they are truly welcome here,” Jimenez said. “There is no reason we cannot communicate to the world that the Philippines is fun no matter [how old] you are,”

Filipino senior citizens enjoy a 20-percent discount on goods and services under Republic Act No. 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, which also relieved them of the 12 percent value added tax.

For foreign senior citizens, Jimenez said the measure had been discussed with the Department of Finance and the Bureau of Internal Revenue, which may be expected to issue directives on its application within the year.

Asked whether it would affect government revenues, Jimenez said he hoped additional spending by foreign pensioners would offset the loss from the discounts.

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  • MG

    Huwag naman, over acting naman. Kami na local na senior matagal nagbabayad ng buwis dito. Hayaan niyo na ang mga imported na senior at mga may kaya naman ang mga iyan.Mas kailangan namin sa mahal ng bilihin sa ngayon.

    • Cathy Besa

      hindi nmn po kau mghahati sa discount… pareho po kau… lahat masaya..

  • jiroarturo

    Kulang na nga ng pera ang gobyerno magbibigay pa kayo ng 20% discount sa mga senior foreigners. Parang mali naman ang iniisip ninyo (DOT). Ayusin na muna ninyo ang mga infrastructures para mainganyang pumasyal ang mga banyaga sa Pinas. Sa airport palang dismayado na sila. Paanong tatagal ang mga iyan kung hindi maayos ang mga infrastructures ng bansa?

  • Menggay

    I agree with jiroarturo – It can truly be More Fun in the Philippines if only DOT gets its priorities right.  As a Fil-Am, I visit the country as often as possible.  I acknowledge the Pinoy knack for accepting and taking things in stride, like non-flushing/unsanitary dis-“comfort” rooms (public), intolerable traffic, pollution, garbage, etc, especially in Manila. The very sight and sound of these negatives are the first things that greet a foreigner coming to town. (And they are also the very things that propel him to make an about face and get (the heck) out of town quick!

    It’s well and good if DOT extends senior discounts to elderly tourists, but before generosity comes a serious scrutiny of what are acceptable standards for encouraging others to visit our home. I am sure that Secretary Jimenez has traveled abroad himself and has seen examples of clean, secured, tourist sites, or else why appoint him to such a sensitive, demanding post? 

    It is embarrassing to bring foreign friends to town and watch them cringe at the sight of uncollected garbage, desperately scrounge around for non-existent tissue paper in smelly toilets at bus terminals (check the horrendous one in Dagupan, Pangasinan please!).  Foreigners DO NOT USE TABO!  Why not station someone outside the comfort rooms to hand a sheet or two to those using the rooms!  Not to mention hotel bathrooms with toilets but no LIDS!  Squatting on the toilet bowl can be perilous to one’s pride let alone one’s hygiene!

    May I suggest to Secretary Jimenez that before he brags about an impending tourist boom under his management as being either chicken feed or duck soup, that he rolls up his sleeves and tackle the fundamentals of how to win foreigners and influence tourism by at least, opening up a regular feedback website for ex-pats like me and use first-person comments/experiences as the basis of future braggadocio(s) on his part?  The crowing can come later.  First comes the hard look and hard work, and then it can be “MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES!”

  • sh1seadad

    Many central american countries also do this.

  • legrandcharles

    It’s more fun to be a  FOREIGN senior in the Philippines. LOCAL seniors need not apply…

    Kasi kung LOCAL senior ka, tingnan natin kung may “fun” kang mararanasan. Kulang o walang pambili ng gamot, pang ospital, pambili ng pagkain, etc. Second class citizens in your own land.

  • koaks2

    ilan taon ba ang senior sa pilipinas?

    • noeltabaz2


  • koaks2

    thanks noeltabaz2, senior na pala ako.

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