[On 28 March 2020, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued Memorandum Circular No. 20-09, providing for exemption from lines or queues, a “Senior Only” shopping hour, and “Pagpapahalaga” Express Lane, in all supermarkets, groceries, pharmacies and drug stores, and other businesses authorized to continue business operations during the enhanced community quarantine. Here is the full text of MC 20-09.]
MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR NO. 20-09
“PAGPAPAHALAGA SA MGA SENIOR CITIZENS”
WHEREAS, Article of the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines declares as a State Policy the promotion of the general welfare; valuing the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights; and the promotion and protection of the right to health of the people and instil health consciousness among them.
WHEREAS, Section 6 of Art. XII states that, “The use of property bears a social function, and all economic agents shall contribute to the common good. Individuals and private groups, including corporations, cooperatives, and similar collective organizations, shall have the right to own, establish, and operate economic enterprises, subject to the duty of the State to promote distributive justice and to intervene when the common good so demands.”
WHEREAS, in relation to the foregoing, Section 11, Art. XIII of the Constitution further provides that the State shall adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development, which shall endeavor to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all the people at affordable cost, and to prioritize the needs of the elderly.
WHEREAS, aligned with such State Policies, Republic Act No. 9994, otherwise known as an Act Granting Additional Benefits and Privileges to Senior Citizens, further amending RA No. 7432, as amended, otherwise known as “An Act to Maximize The Contribution of Senior Citizens to Nation Building, Grant Benefits and Special Privileges” as amended.
WHEREAS, consistent therewith, the rights of senior citizens to take their proper place in society and make it a concern of the family, community, and government shall be recognized; the improvement of the total well-being of the elderly and their full participation in society, considering that senior citizens are an integral part of Philippine society shall be supported; the valued Filipino tradition of caring for the senior citizens by their families and the communities they live with shall be encouraged and re-affirmed.
WHEREFORE, in recognition of the important roles of the private sector in the improvement of the welfare of senior citizens, their partnership and cooperation is hereby enjoined through this Memorandum Circular, viz:
Section 1. Objective. – This Circular aims to enjoin all supermarkets, groceries, pharmacies and drug stores and other businesses authorized by the government to continue business operations during the declared State of Public Health Emergency and National State of Calamity pursuant to Proclamation Nos. 922 and 929, respectively, to adopt and implement measures whereby our senior citizens are given priority in purchasing their needs such as food and medicine at this time.
Section 2. Scope. – The privilege and assistance referred to herein shall benefit any and all citizens at least sixty (60) years of age, which shall be extended by those mentioned Section 1 hereof.
Section 3. Exemption from lines or queues. – Covered establishments are required, subject to compliance with the Social Distancing directives, to allow immediate entry of the covered senior citizen into their premises. In order to meet this objective, duly assigned security or administration personnel of covered establishments shall ensure that senior citizens are assisted to enter their establishment ahead of the ordinary buyers on an “as they come” basis.
Section 4. “Senior Only” shopping hour. – Whenever possible, the covered establishments are encouraged to designate a “Seniors Only” shopping hour in the retail store, provided that the covered citizens may choose to make their purchases even beyond such designated hour, in which case Section 3 applies.
Section 5. “Pagpapahalaga” Express Lane. – Covered establishments are strongly urged to designated an express lane, aside from the existing Senior Citizens lane, for senior citizens purchasing 25 items or less.
Section 6. Posting of Notice. – Covered establishments shall post in a conspicuous place, the necessary notices written both in English and Tagalog, informing the public about the subject policy.
Section 7. Infractions and Sanctions. – Any violations hereof shall be tantamount to infraction of the Senior Citizens Act and their amendments including ordinances relevant thereto and shall be sanctioned accordingly.
Section 8. Effectivity. – This Memorandum Circular shall take effect immediately.
Issue this 28th day of March 2020 in Makati City, Philippines.
RAMON M. LOPEZ, Secretary
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