HOUSE PANEL OKS P25-K CASH GIFT FOR SENIOR CITIZENS WHO REACH 85
The House Special Committee on Senior Citizens, in a hearing on Monday presided by its Vice Chairperson Rep. Milagros Aquino-Magsaysay (Party-list, Senior Citizens), approved a bill seeking to grant cash gifts to senior citizens who reach the age of 85, 90, and 95.
The unnumbered substitute bill seeks to amend Section 2 of Republic Act 10868 or the "Centenarians Act of 2016" by including senior citizens who reach 85, 90, and 95 in the grant of cash gifts.
The bill substituted HBs 8208, 8274, 8559, 8768 and 7821 authored by Reps. Mark Go, Emi Calixto-Rubiano, Ronaldo Zamora, and Luis Raymund ‘LRay’ Villafuerte Jr., respectively.
It proposes that a cash gift of P25,000 shall be given to all Filipinos, whether residing in the Philippines or abroad, who reach the age of 85 and another P25,000 upon reaching 90 years old. They shall receive an additional P50,000 when they reach the age of 95.
At 100 years old, the celebrators shall be honored with a letter of felicitation from the President of the Philippines congratulating them on their longevity in addition to a Centenarian Gift in the amount of P100,000 each.
The panel also approved the removal of a provision in the unnumbered substitute bill to adjust the cash gift annually by three percent beginning the year 2020.
The requisite fund for the initial year of implementation shall be sourced from the available funds of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and subsequently the amount necessary to implement the provisions of the measure shall be included in the General Appropriations Act.
The Secretaries of the DSWD, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Health, and Commission on Filipinos Overseas shall promulgate the necessary guidelines for and shall take the lead in the effective implementation of the measure.
Patricia Salvador, a representative of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, voiced support for the bill. She also thanked the committee for including in its provisions Filipino senior citizens who reside outside the country.
"I would like to thank the Special Committee on Senior Citizens for considering our overseas Filipino senior citizens. Opposite to the notion that they live better as senior citizens dito sa Philippines, it's not always the case. Especially 'yung mga nag-migrate as senior citizens already. They do not receive pensions kumpara doon sa nag-migrate at an early age. This is great for them," Salvador said.
Meanwhile, Aquino-Magsaysay gave assurance that the measure will be expedited and shall reach the plenary floor for deliberation and approval even if it still has to be transmitted to the House Committee on Appropriations for its funding provision.
"However, the newly elected Majority Leader Honorable Fredenil Castro has instructed all chairpersons to expedite the approval of measures referred to their respective committees. Once approved by the committee, the substitute bill could be transmitted to the Committee on Rules. And he assured me that he will see to it that our bill is approved before the adjournment," she said.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Speaker Linabelle Ruth Villarica, and Reps. Go and Jorge Banal (3rd District, Quezon City).
Photo from Rappler