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Prioritize Senior Citizens, in Groceries and Pharmacies During COVID-19 crisis

Supermarkets, groceries, pharmacies and other establishments in the Philippines are allowed to operate during the Luzon-wide lockdown period. To contain the coronavirus outbreak they must prioritize senior citizen customers, said the trade ministry on Saturday.

According to the memorandum circular, the Department of Trade and Industry said people aged 60 and above should be allowed immediate entry into such establishments, and assisted “ahead of the ordinary buyers on an ‘as they come’ basis.”

Each establishment is encouraged to designate a “Seniors Only” shopping hour, although the elderly customers may also choose “to make their purchases even beyond such designated hour.”

Also, besides the usual Senior Citizens lane, there will be an express lane for elderly customers that can purchase 25 items or less.

The privilege and assistance for senior citizens will have necessary notices that must be posted in public view, both in English and Tagalog.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez will take effect immediately, warned of sanctions under the Senior Citizens Act if any of the provisions are violated.

The World Health Organization said, those older people and those with such pre-existing medical conditions with high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes, or those who appear to develop serious illness more often than others, will acquire the (COVID-19).

On March 28, the WHO confirmed that more than half a million COVID-19 cases have been recorded worldwide, with nearly 27,000 deaths.

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