(Metro News) Malabon mayor hails bill on EVAT exemption for senior citizens

January 30, 2010 11:48 am 

MANILA, Jan. 30 — Malabon City Mayor Canuto “Tito” Oreta has lauded the passage by Congress of a bill exempting senior citizens from paying the 12 percent expanded value-added tax (EVAT) and giving them additional benefits.

Oreta describes the measure as “legacy legislation” for the country’s senior citizens and expects Malacanang to sign its final version ratified by the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The expanded version of the senior citizens law exempts the elderly from the 12 percent EVAT, which effectively slashed their benefit to only eight percent.

The Senate version (SB No. 3561) is known as the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2009” and the House version (HB 59878) the “Comprehensive Senior Citizens Act (COSCA) of 2009.”

0reta said that while apprehensions may be justified about the effect of the senior citizens’ VAT exemptions on government revenues, the proposed law should stiffen the resolve of its tax agencies to meet or exceed their revenue collection targets.

The amendments to the existing law include a 20-percent discount and exemption from the VAT provided under present tax laws on the sale of goods and services from all establishments for the exclusive use and enjoyment or availment of senior citizens. These cover medicines, professional fees of physicians, medical and dental services, and diagnostic and laboratory fees.

The discount extends to bus, jeepney and taxi fares as well as those of public railways railways and shuttle services, domestic air transport services and sea shipping vessels, services in hotels, restaurants and recreation centers, and admission fees charged by theaters, cinema houses and similar places of culture, leisure and amusement.

The law also exempts senior citizens who are minimum-wage earners from paying individual income taxes, extends death benefit assistance of a minimum of P2,000 to the nearest surviving kin, and provides a monthly P500 stipend to indigent senior citizens identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development to augment their daily subsistence and other medical needs. (PNA)

scs/PFN

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