senior citizen

Although many of us (expats in the Philippines) are over 60 years of age, we are not seen as Senior Citizens for the Filipino law.

The Senior citizen card in the Philippines is not meant for senior citizens of foreign countries in the Philippines even when some Filipino government officials don’t understand their own laws regarding it. Unfortunately, many expats don’t care to read or, maybe, are just incapable of understanding the restrictions in the law for some curious and selfish reasons.

As Expats in the Philippines, we are visitors whether we are tourist or permanent residence or under SSRV: we have no right by taking away the benefits that belong to the Filipino Citizens.

To clarify, Section 2 of Republic Act 9257 (Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003) defines that:

  • Senior citizen or elderly shall mean any resident citizen of the Philippines at least sixty (60) years old;

The above is very clear and the operative word is citizen. A foreigner may be a permanent resident but not necessarily a Philippine citizen. A non-Philippine citizen, therefore, cannot legally acquire a Philippine senior citizen card.

Business establishments are well within their rights to respectfully ask for proof of Filipino citizenship.

Rule III, Article 5, Section 5.5 of RA 9257 Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) states that:

    5.5 IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENT refers to any document or proof of being a senior citizen which shall be used for the availment of benefits and privileges under the law, such as the following:

  • Identification card issued by the City or Municipal Mayor/Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) or of the barangay captain of the place where the senior citizen or the elderly resides
  • The passport of the elderly person or senior citizen concerned
  • Other documents that establish the senior citizen or elderly person is a citizen of the Republic and who is at least sixty (60) years of age

It may be worth mentioning also the great risks facing offenders. Section 10 (Penalties) of the same act states that:

  • If the offender is an alien or a foreigner, he shall be deported immediately after the service of the sentence [six months or more imprisonment] without further deportation proceedings.

Filipino Senior Citizen Discount Benefits. If you are a foreigner and are using this benefit then BEWARE.
When in a supermarket or other store and even in some government offices like LTO, it is allowed to use the senior citizens lane, but do not try to get the discount Filipino Senior Citizens are getting.