SOJ Caparas: Amend IRR of the Senior Citizens' Act

18 April 2016

Justice Secretary Emmanuel L. Caparas expressed the need to amend the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 (RA 9994) to avoid confusion with the proper identification documents that a senior citizen may use to avail of the benefits under the law.

Responding to a request for legal opinion made by the National Coordinating and Monitoring Board (NCMB), Sec. Caparas noted that both Sec. 4 of (RA 7432), as amended by RA 9994 and Article 5, Rule III of the IRR state that, to avail of the benefits provided by that law, a senior citizen may present any of the following: an identification card issued by the Office of the Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA), passport, or any other documents that establish Filipino citizenship and age.

However, under Article 6 of Rule IV of the same IRR, a senior citizen may only be eligible for the privileges provided by the act upon presentation of the OSCA-issued Senior Citizens' ID.

Sec. Caparas said "it would appear that Article 6, earlier quoted, is incomplete and does not conform to the provisions of the law it seeks to implement" and "a reading of the provisions of R.A. No. 7432, as amended, does not show any legislative intent to limit the grant of the benefits and privileges only to holders of OSCA-issued Senior Citizens ID."

He further said the power to amend the subject IRR however, belongs to the DSWD Secretary pursuant to Sec. 90 of RA 9994 and not to the NCMB, which is limited to monitoring the implementation thereof under Sec. 8 of said law.

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