By Willie Jose
The senior’s discount given to the elderly in the Philippines is one good enough reason for Filipinos either working and living abroad to come back home often.
For balikbayans, treating their families and friends to never-ending lunches, dinners and get-together parties held in some restaurants is something they always look forward to simply because of the legally mandated senior’s discount of 20 percent for the food is a big saving on their pockets.
After they have finished eating and the bills are served to them, their senior friends would immediately hand over their gov’t-issued discount cards to their hosts– and voila, they get their food discounts.
The Philippines is a paradise to seniors because in some cities, seniors even get free entry to movie houses and a law has been enacted giving hospital discounts to seniors needing hospital care.
While writing this piece, a good friend of mine has told me that our countrymen are also enjoying discounts for medication, foodstuffs ,transport fares –and mind you, these discounts are mandated by the law.
This senior’s discount is a big incentive for our seniors; it’s something that could entice them to leave their homes, eat in some restaurants or sip their cups of coffee in coffee shops that spring up the streets of the metropolis.
In return, these businesses profitably take a big boost considering that at least one member of the Filipino households is working overseas—meaning that these senior family members would surely have the money to spend, in spite of the monthly pensions they get from the GSIS and the SSS.
Have you not noticed that almost all day, these shopping malls are full of people and these seniors are often seen dining out with their families there.
So, what’s my point here ? It’s a good idea even for some developed countries like Canada to take the initiative in enacting a law that could extend discounts to all seniors for their food and grocery items, medications, house rentals, hydro, movies transport fares.
And we should carry out this law-mandated discounts Canada-wide.
As it is now, some grocery stores and pharmacies are giving senior’s discount of 5- 10 percent only in some specific days or weeks in a month. The same is true with hotels, plane fares and food items—and their discounts are not compulsory as required by any specific law.
But we have to take into account the big number of seniors in this country’s population. Seeing these seniors spending their money for some discounted items will surely boost Canada’s economy. All throughout the year, we frequently see seniors in malls, either eating or buying stuffs.
This senior’s discount is also a welcome move because it shows that Canada appreciates the positive contributions of these seniors to the country. This senior’s discount is not a new idea; look around us–there are some restaurants, grocery and drug stores, movie houses and other services/construction industries which are now giving discounts to seniors.
But the challenge is for the Federal lawmakers to make it mandatory to extend the benefits of the senior’s discount to all old people in the country.
If we love our elderly, please think about their much-needed senior’s discounts, now or never..