A public hearing occurred on the Expanded Senior Citizens Republic Act 9994 Act of 2010 in the Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NOCCI) in Dumaguete City. This was to widely inform of the 20 percent discount for senior citizen in small drugstores/ pharmacies.
“This problem is bigger than we thought; we thought it was just a simple implementation of Republic Act 9994, but it turned out to be an industry problem,” NOCCI president Ed Du said.
Granting 20 percent discount to senior citizens, plus a 12 percent Expanded Value Added Tax, would definitely results to great loose in their operation.
George Villamor, who is the Federation of Senior Citizens of the Philippines (FSCAP) Negros Oriental Chapter president, said that he understands the predicament and sympathized with the small players, because he himself is operating the “Botica sa OSCA” (federation of senior citizens association).
To avoid complaints from both sides, Mr. Villamor made an unsolicited proposal to decrease the 20 percent discount as a compromise agreement between the senior citizens federation in Dumaguete and the operators of small pharmacies and boticas in the city.
He also said that the senior citizens and the boticas need each other, in saying “we cannot break the law, but maybe, we can bend a little” to achieve a win-win solution to this conflict.
The FSCAP head is playing around with the idea of asking the Congress and the President to amend Republic Act 9994 and lower a little bit the 20 percent discount for senior citizens, so it will be acceptable to both sides.