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.