House panel approves hike on senior discounts on water, electricity bills
The House Committee on Ways and Means approved on Monday, Nov. 19 legislative proposals increasing to ten percent from five percent the rate of discounts on water and electricity bills of senior citizens.
In a hearing, the House panel chaired by Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda granted value added tax exemption on the utility bills of the elderly.
PBA Partylist Rep. Koko Nograles called for the approval of the tax provisions of the bills proposing to give seniors larger discounts on their electricity and water bills.
Under the legislative proposals filed by Reps. Mark Go (Baguio City), Estrellita Suansing (1st District, Nueva Ecija); and Horacio Suansing (2nd District, Sultan Kudarat) ten percent discounts will be granted for seniors on their first 150 kilowatt hours (KWH) and on the first 50 cubic meters of electricity and water bills, respectively.
VAT exemption will also be applied on the said monthly consumption.
The bill will amend Section 4C of Republic Act No. 9994, otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens’ Act of 2010.
Passage of the measure was also endorsed by the House Committee on Senior Citizens.
Saying that seniors comprise seven percent of country’s population, Go said there is an urgent need to help the elderly who are “more exposed to various risks and vulnerabilities. “This representation believes that increasing the senior citizen discount from five to ten percent on their monthly utilization of water and electricity supplied to households registered under the name of a senior is indeed essential to mitigate the burden of our elderlies,” said Go.
For their part, the Suansing couple called for stricter implementation of the benefits granted to senior members of the society.