“Senior Only” Shopping Hour, Express Lane for Senior Citizens during the Community Quarantine

Senior citizens are more vulnerable to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19), according to reports, and because of this, some groceries, supermarkets and other retail stores are not allowing senior citizens to enter and shop. This is addressed in a new circular issued by the Bureau of Trade and Industry (DTI). Memorandum Circular No. 20-09 (full text) enjoins all supermarkets, groceries, pharmacies and drug stores and other businesses to implement the following:

“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 they shall be given exemption from lines or queues.

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.

“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. 

These benefits are available to all citizens at least sixty (60) years of age, and covers 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. Covered establishments are required to post in a conspicuous place, the necessary notices written both in English and Tagalog, informing the public about the subject policy. The DTI declared that any violation is tantamount to infraction of the Senior Citizens Act , as amended. 

P&L Law

2 thoughts on ““Senior Only” Shopping Hour, Express Lane for Senior Citizens during the Community Quarantine

  1. AvatarAlice Bordadora

    What about seniors who are not ‘citizens’ ? Does no-one care about them ? They’re just as vulnerable to the Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19).

    Reply
    1. pnlpnl

      It’s unlikely that grocery stores will make that distinction, as far as entry is concerned. The country is facing a far bigger problem than that distinction. However, if you want to be strict about it, the Circular cites the Expanded Senior Citizens Act, which defines a senior citizen as “any Filipino citizen who is a resident of the Philippines, and who is sixty (60) years old or above. It may apply to senior citizens with ‘dual citizenship’ status provided they prove their Filipino citizenship and have at least six (6) months residency in the Philippines.”

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