Raise Senior Citizen Discount of Medicine for Maintenance Medication

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As suggested by the Commission on Population, the Philippines is moving towards an aging population. It is estimated that by the end of 2018 there will be over 8 million senior citizens composing of at least 8.2 percent of Filipinos. This being said, our obligation to satisfy the specific health care needs of the elderly has heightened. There are thousands of elderly people suffering from chronic diseases and other illnesses every year, and the cost of having prescription drugs and maintenance medicine is beyond the reach of many. Based from the data reported by Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Philippines have more expensive medicine than other countries in Asia. By 2013, Philippine Statistics Authority stated that Filipinos have spent around P500 billion on health care alone and 56.3% of these payments have been made in cash. In contrast, it is discernible that many senior citizens are still far from experiencing income security.

Elderly citizens of our country cannot function as actively as before when they were younger. Some are even left by their families while others are suffering from different illnesses. With no one to support them financially, we are suggesting for Higher Senior Citizen Discount of Medicine for Maintenance Medication. This means that senior citizens should be given a higher discount on their maintenance medicines. These accumulating expenses remain costly even with the current discount because of it being a daily need for the senior citizens to intake.

Shown at Section 4 of Republic Act No. 7432, as amended by Republic Act No. 9257, otherwise known as the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003”: “The senior citizens shall be entitled to the following: “(a) the grant of twenty percent (20%) discount and exemption from the value -added tax (VAT), if applicable, on the sale of the following goods and services from all establishments, for the exclusive use and enjoyment or availment of the senior citizen”, senior citizens are entitled to a 20% discount made available to them for the purchase of their goods. However, seeing as the expenses for medicine to treat chronic diseases is a constant necessity, the 20% discount is still not enough for the retired senior citizens.

As citizens of our country grow and come to a retirement, not all are supported by families and have government benefits. With our problems presented, we would like to propose a possible solution. Since the current discount percentage given is 20%, adding at least 10%-20% more could be a solution for the elderly’s medical assistance (Medicines). More so, as the percentage of discounts for senior citizen’s medical assistance increase this would also might increase the possibility of more seniors purchasing prescribe medicine rather than making home remedies and/or dissembling medicines.

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