By Zaldy De Layola
MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Friday said it fully supports the call of two lawmakers to abolish the senior citizen’s purchase slip booklet following numerous complaints coming from the elderly.
Secretary Rex Gatchalian said in a news release the DSWD will take the lead in reaching out to the Department of Health (DOH) and other concerned agencies on the proposal of ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Erwin Tulfo and Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo.
DSWD Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Romel Lopez said the department, in previous years, had received various concerns and complaints through various means of communication, relative to the senior citizen discounts.
Gatchalian directed the agency’s Program Management Bureau (PMB) to make a study and recommendation regarding the senior citizen purchase slip booklet which has been the subject of a congressional inquiry.
DSWD-PMB’s position paper dated Feb. 1, 2024 recommended to Gatchalian the abolition of the purchase slip booklet, as a requirement for the purchase of medicines by senior citizens.
The DSWD-PMB recommended the adoption of digitized records for the senior citizens, “considering the mobility and tendency to forget to bring their booklets and even read their content, it is no longer convenient on the part of senior citizens to use purchase slip booklets.”
“With the fast-paced technology and innovations, it is recommended to adopt an established system for monitoring, storing, and reporting data towards an efficient, consistent, and uniform implementation of the law and provisions for the availment of medicines, basic necessities, and prime commodities, among others,” the PMB said in its position paper.
The PMB maintained that in this digitalization, the concerned agencies such as the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC), Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH), Bureau of Internal revenue (BIR), and the Department of Justice (DO)J, and representation from non-government organizations(NGOs), shall partner with members of the private sector offering services to senior citizens. (PNA)