Republic Act No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 (the “Senior Citizen Law”) entitles Filipino residents of least 60 years old to a 20 percent discount and an exemption from the 12 percent value-added tax (VAT) imposed on the sale of services from restaurants (including those in hotels and fast food chains).

We asked Atty. Dominique P. Gana of Gana Manlangit Law Office some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received regarding these benefits:

Is someone entitled for the discount if they are about to turn 60 within the year?

No. They are only entitled to the discount upon their 60th birthday. 

If one senior citizen is paying for the whole meal of six seniors, does that mean they should present all their cards and give them all a discount?

Yes, they should all present their cards. 

Is there anything in the law that supports this statement [from the F&B Report article]: “Senior citizen benefits can only be applied to the food or beverage personally consumed by the senior citizen, except for food marketed as children’s meals, pre-contracted party packages or bulk orders, and promotional discounts.”

Yes, it is in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9994. 

Do discounted meals and meals on promos qualify for senior citizen discounts?

No, you cannot apply the senior citizen discount to already discounted meals or meals on promos.

How about function rooms with consumable amount of food. Are these included?

Yes, the consumable food amount should be subject to the discount, but only for the personal consumption of the senior citizen. For example, if a function room has consumable food for 10 persons and there is only one senior citizen, the discount would apply to the food consumable amount portioned only for that individual (e.g. 1/10 is subject to the discount). 

How many times a day can someone avail of the discount in the same restaurant?

As many times as [they dine] in or take out from the restaurant. For example, if [they] go to the same restaurant five times, leave every time, and request a separate official receipt for each dine-in or takeout, the discount should apply to each dine-in or takeout. 

Are liquor, beer, and wine subject to the discount? Up to what [amount consumed]? What if they consume more than one order of alcoholic beverage?

Yes, this is subject to the senior citizen discount. However, it should be an amount reasonably consumed by the person. For example, if the senior citizen can show that [they] in fact ordered and drank five beers, the discount should apply to those five beers. However, it is possible that if they order 15 beers and cannot prove that [they] personally consumed those beers, it is possible that the establishment will refuse to apply the discount to all 15 beers as they can argue that the 15 beers were not for the personal consumption of said senior citizen. 

Where can I complain or clarify if a restaurant only allows discounts of one dish when all the dishes were consumed by seniors and PWDs? What if a restaurant refused to give the discount?

You can get clarification for issues concerning IDs or report an establishment for violating RA 9994 with the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) in your respective city or municipality.