House panel calls for enforcement of seniors, PWDs laws

Published November 11, 2021, 4:45 PM

by Manila Bulletin

The House of Representatives Special Committee on Senior Citizens and the Special Committee on Persons with Disabilities, under its chairpersons Senior Citizens partylist Rep. Rodolfo “Ompong” Ordanes and Negros Occidental 5th District Rep. Ma Lourdes Arroyo, have uncovered glaring problems on the enforcement of the seniors and persons with disabilities laws on Thursday, Nov. 11.

The special committee discussed House Resolutions 1622 and 1626 which urged the Lower House to investigate food delivery applications for not applying senior citizens and persons with disability discounts in transactions made through them.

HR 1622 was filed by BH Partylist Rep. Bernadette Herrera and Ordanes while HR 1626 was introduced by Herrera.

The panel also deliberated on HRs 1450 and 1880 which call for and urge the Department of Trade And Industry (DTI), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the National Commission on Senior Citizens, National Commission on Disability Affairs and other relevant government agencies to immediately draft and implement guidelines on the applicability of senior citizens and PWDs discounts and privileges to all online transactions.

The said resolutions were introduced by Ordanes and Quezon City 5th District Rep. Alfred Vargas, respectively.

The panel inquired on how the food delivery service providers namely Foodpanda and GrabFood give discounts to seniors and PWDs.

According to Atty. Jeifan Ira Dizon of Grab Philippines they are giving the 20% discount to senior citizens and PWDs who have Grab accounts via a discount code provided.

Food Panda Philippines regulatory and public affairs manager Rose Romero, on the other hand, gave an explanation on how digital platforms and online merchants provide services to their customers.

However, cause-oriented groups supporting seniors and PWDs pointed out that food delivery service providers aside from other businesses have failed to address the need to provide discounts and privileges to the said public sectors.

PWD Philippines president Arpee Lazaro, meanwhile, brought up the need to create a database for all PWDs who have legitimate ID cards so that the government can identify and authenticate the real PWDS and stop the fraudulent use of their privileges.

The National Council on Disability Affairs executive director Emer Rojas also aired the same sentiment and noted that seniors and PWDs should present their IDs for confirmation on their transactions. (Melvin Sarangay)