Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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FIRING LINE: Age, law and commercial neglect

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Okada Manila
Hotel Okura Manila
The Manor at Camp John Hay
Novotel Manila
Taal Vista Hotel
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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

Reaching 60 was a patient wait, and the joy of senior privileges is rewarding and enlightening. It is rewarding because the discounts and benefits are better; it is enlightening because senior citizenship is a thinning out of chances and time.

So, it is profoundly disheartening when commercial establishments blatantly ignore the discounts I and others like me deserve under the law.

I very well disagree with House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on many issues but laud him this time for calling an investigation on a coffee shop chain that has flouted laws designed to protect the rights of senior citizens and persons with disabilities.

The reported restriction on discounts, with limits imposed on the number of items during a visit, is a clear violation of the spirit of both the Expanded Senior Citizens Act and the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability.

The entitlements afforded to senior citizens and PWDs under Republic Acts No. 9994 and No. 10754 should not be subject to arbitrary constraints. Romualdez said so himself that these discounts “should not be limited in any way, for as long as they are for their use and personal consumption.”

For me, our golden years deserve respect, not the dismissive shrug of businesses denying our rightful entitlements. This failure to uphold the legal rights of the elderly and differently-abled citizens is not only a breach of legislation but a moral lapse on the part of businesses.

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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email or tweet @Side_View via X app (formerly Twitter). Read current and past issues of this column at

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