The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) said it will join other  government agencies in crafting uniform guidelines for the privileges for senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) when shopping online.

ARTA’s participation stemmed from a complaint by Atty. Victor Dimagiba, president of Laban Konsyumer, Inc., against the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for their alleged inaction with earlier commitments to draft guidelines for online discounts for senior citizens and PWDs. 

Already, it was agreed during the inter-agency meeting with ARTA that DSWD will lead the drafting of a Joint Administrative Order (JAO).

In his complaint to ARTA, Dimagiba said most senior citizens and PWDs have turned to online shopping amid the COVID-19 pandemic so they can safely purchase food, medicine, and other necessities. 

However, they are not able to claim their privileges granted by law because most merchants do not know what and how to grant them their discounts. 

The Department of Trade and Industry made it clear that senior citizens and PWDs should still be able to avail their discounts when buying necessities and prime commodities online.

The DSWD is expected to consolidate comments of concerned agencies on the JAO on or before 15 June 2021 prior to the intended consultation meeting with stakeholders before the  end of June. 

Source: Manila Bulletin (