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.
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