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Short-changing seniors?

Egay Uy .

OFTENTIMES, I wonder how the senior citizen discount, net of value-added tax (VAT), is computed by businesses. I take special attention on the fastfood chains and dine-in joints. I usually make a mental computation of the total discount whenever I avail of it.  Easily, the discount is about 29 percent off the total price. This includes the 12-percent value added tax and 20-percent discount for seniors.

One fastfood chain computed my total discount at P57.14, deducted from the gross purchase amount of P200.  This is roughly 28.7 percent. That is acceptable because the total discount is not exactly 32 percent (20 percent plus 12-percent VAT) taken off the total price, as many others would like to think.

Another fastfood outlet computed my total discount at P42.86 from my portion of P150 out of the total payable of P433.93.  This is about 28.7 percent, similar to the other fastfood outlet in the example above.  Well and good.

Still another fastfood outlet computed my total discount at P62.57 of the total payable of P439, which is about 14.2 percent only.  How this was arrived at is difficult to decipher from the cash register tape that was given to me.

Then in still another fastfood outlet, I got a total discount of P51.17 from my total bill of P477.60, or only about 10.7 percent. This, as deciphered from the cash register tape, only represents the exclusion of value added tax.  This means I was not able to avail of the 20-percent senior citizen discount from that eatery inside a mall.

I am a little adept at numbers. My first dream was to become an engineer.  Instead, because I was not able to go to Cebu when enrolment time came in 1970-71 (Yes, it’s how young I am right now), I took up the Accounting course only to end up graduating with an Economics major in the BSBA department of Xavier University.

I felt a little comfortable in the accounting classes because I could do simple mental computations that balancing accounts was not really a problem.  But then, I thought I did not want to take a board exam because it would be tedious and expensive.

I feared taking the board exam but instead I ended up taking the dreaded bar exams and luckily, or as fate would have it, I passed at first take in 1985.

Back to the discounts, I hope business will compute discounts uniformly.  I suspect a good number of seniors will not bother scrutinizing the computations, whether or not they are done correctly.

To the programmers of the point of sales cash registers, please be accurate in your formula so that seniors won’t be short-changed.


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TREND MAKER. Mindanao Gold Star Daily was established in 1989 to set ablaze a new meaning & flame to the local newspaper business. Throughout the years it continued its focus and interest in the rural areas & pioneered the growth of countryside journalism.

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