By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Deputy Speaker and Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo is proposing to expand the coverage of the senior citizen’s pension provided under Expanded Senior Citizen Act of 2010 and provide a P15,000 funeral and burial assistance.
He sought to amend Republic Act 7432, otherwise known as the “Expanded Senior Citizen Act of 2010”, as amended by Republic Act 9994 to benefit the projected eight million Filipino senior citizens this year.
“This sector is one of the most vulnerable due to increased health risks as well as decreased capacity to earn income for their everyday needs, ” Quimbo said.
“While pension along with other benefits and privileges are granted to the sector through the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and Social Security System (SSS) as well as the Expanded Senior Citizen Act of 2010, social security provided by the State remain beyond the reach of many senior citizens, ” Quimbo said.
Currently, the SSS and the GSIS provide pension primarily to senior citizens who were salaried employees from the formal sector.
“The Social Pension Program under the Expanded Senior Citizen Act of 2010, as implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), meanwhile provides pension to only qualified, indigent senior citizens, with the program’s system for determining such qualified indigents often being criticized for inefficiency and irregularities. This leaves a significant portion of senior citizens particularly those from the informal sector, without social pension, ” Quimbo said.
The House leader filed House Bill 7222 seeking to expand the coverage of the senior citizen’s pension provided under the 2010 law to all senior citizens not currently covered by the GSIS or the SSS.
“The bill seeks to ensure that no senior citizen shall be deprived of even the most basic of social security, ” he said.
HB 7222 mandates the adjustment of present value of the monthly pension once every three years in order to prevent a reduction in the real value of the pension due to inflation.
The bill also seeks to provide a P15,000 funeral and burial assistance in recognition of the significant financial burden such services place on senior citizens and their families.
“Through the additional government assistance provided by this bill, it is hoped that fewer Filipinos are forced to endure hardship in their later years, “Quimbo said.