After a day of running errands recently, stopped into a clothing store at a local mall and picked up a pair of shorts. Stopped at the cashier and was second in line. While waiting, a sales representative walked another customer to the cashier and added them to the line. Right away, noticed the latest customer pushing his items towards the cash register; he even took out the money to pay for it.
By the time the cashier finished with the first customer in line, walked forward to give the cashier the shorts but she instead grabbed the hat and cash that was sitting in front of her. Turned to the guy and let him know there was a line. He turned away and ignored the comment.
As the cashier proceeded to ring up his purchase, turned to him again and asked, “You don’t wait in line?” He dismissively replied, “I’m a senior citizen” and quickly turned away. Once the cashier was done with his purchase, he grabbed his item and creeped out of the store.
Republic Act No. 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, signed into law by current Speaker of the House, then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, outlines all of the benefits Filipino citizens over the age of 60 are entitled to.
Seniors are eligible for a 20 percent deduction on certain goods; exemption from the value-added tax; discounts on medical services, dental services, public transportation, domestic travel, among other items; five percent markdown on utilities; educational assistance; among an array of other rights.
While Section 4(k) indicates, “[Seniors are entitled to the] provision of express lanes for senior citizens in all commercial and government establishments; in the absence thereof, priority shall be given to them,” it does not give anybody the right to flaunt an arrogant attitude to others (regardless of age, nobody should be walking around with that kind of demeanor).
Such an attitude runs completely contrary to Section 2(d) of the said law, which states, “[The law intends] to encourage their families and the communities they live with to reaffirm the valued Filipino tradition of caring for the senior citizens.” Personally, arrogance and conceitedness are not necessarily among “valued traditions;” more like respect for others, and treating people fairly and equally. Despite growing up in the United States, given how “religious” the country claims to be, could not image such self-importance would be among the values cherished by those who grew up in the Philippines.
As the law indicates, its purpose is to “recognize the rights of senior citizens to take their proper place in society” and “give full support to the improvement of the total well-being of the elderly,” but when such honorable goals are marred by a pompous individual who is better characterized as “entitled” rather than “deserving,” such a gesture goes to waste.
Earlier that day, was in line to pay a bill with a senior also waiting. However, while beginning the transaction, she at least excused herself and, given her request was minor, she was able to be assisted without a problem. It’s what many expect of the older generation – polite and gentle.
Having a parent who is a senior, they take advantage of every eligible benefit but have never once cut a line and sneered at fellow customers – it’s not in his character to commit such a repugnant act.
If more seniors act like the man at the clothing store, the “valued Filipino tradition of caring for the senior citizens” will quickly fade away because such snobbery will only breed resentment./WDJ