December 27, 2009

PHILIPPINES: Sales tax exemption for elderly approved

. MANILA, Philippines / Manila Standard Today / December 27, 2009 By Fel V. Maragay Congress has a special gift for “senior citizens” this Christmas — exemption from the 12-percent value-added tax on their purchase of goods and services. The Senate, before adjourning last week, unanimously approved Senate Bill 7342 that seeks to expand the benefits to senior citizens and “maximize their contributions to nation building.” Senator Pia Cayetano, chairman of the committee on social justice, welfare and rural development, said the bill also mandates the Health Department to provide indigent senior citizens with free vaccination against influenza and death benefit assistance of P2,000 through the Social Welfare Department. Cayetano said the Senate considered two options in upgrading the benefits for senior citizens. The first was increasing the current discount for senior citizens from the present 20 to 30 percent for the payment of goods and services. The second was exemption from the VAT. In the end, the latter was chosen, she said. A similar measure has been passed by the House of Representatives. A bicameral conference committee will convene upon the resumption of the regular session next month to craft a common version of the measure. [rc] Copyright Manila Standard Today 2005-2009