Gov’t Boosts Support for Seniors and PWDs with P500 Monthly Grocery Discount Starting March

In an uplifting move by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the Philippines are set to receive a significant boost in their monthly grocery budget. Starting this March, the discount cap on groceries and prime commodities will be elevated to P500 per month, a substantial increase from the current P260. This policy change, announced by House Speaker Martin Romualdez, aims to offer a helping hand to those who often find themselves grappling with the financial strains of daily living, as shared in a report by Philstar.

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Details of the Discount

Under the new scheme, eligible seniors and PWDs can look forward to a P125 weekly discount, accumulating to P500 over the course of a month. This adjustment is designed to make essential goods more accessible, covering a range of necessities from rice, corn, and bread to meat, fish, and vegetables. The focus is on basic and prime commodities, ensuring that those who need it the most can benefit from reduced prices on essential items.

The decision comes after a series of consultations and discussions among DTI officials and stakeholders, reflecting a collective effort to address the challenges faced by senior citizens and PWDs. DTI Undersecretary Carolina Sanchez highlighted that a joint circular involving the DTI, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Energy will be issued to formalize the increase. This collaborative approach signifies a concerted effort to ensure that the welfare of these vulnerable groups is prioritized.

Beyond Groceries

The initiative doesn’t stop at food; it also extends to basic construction supplies such as cement, hollow blocks, and electrical supplies, including light bulbs. However, it’s important to note that premium items and non-essential foods like cakes and pastries are not included in the discount. This decision underscores the program’s focus on essential needs, ensuring that the benefits are directed towards supporting the day-to-day lives of seniors and PWDs.

A Response to Inflation

This policy adjustment was prompted by the rising concern over food inflation and its impact on the purchasing power of senior citizens and PWDs. During a recent hearing, lawmakers, including House ways and means chair Rep. Joey Salceda, emphasized the need for the discount cap to reflect the current economic conditions. The updated discount cap is seen as a step towards alleviating the financial pressures faced by these groups, offering them a slight reprieve in the face of rising costs.

As the country gears up for the implementation of this welcome change, senior citizens and PWDs can look forward to a little more breathing room in their budgets. This initiative is more than just a financial relief; it’s a gesture of support and recognition from the government, acknowledging the challenges faced by these groups and taking concrete steps to address them. As March approaches, many are hopeful that this change will mark the beginning of more supportive measures aimed at improving the quality of life for senior citizens and PWDs across the Philippines.

READ NEXT: Guide to Benefits and Discounts for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs)