By Charissa Luci-Atienza
A partylist lawmaker wants to provide the senior citizens a cash gift amounting to P80,000 on their 80th birthday.
Ako Bisaya party-list Rep. Sonny Lagon is pushing for the passage of House Bill 907 to ensure that those who reach 80 years of age would be granted same financial benefits being given to centenarians under the Republic Act (RA) No. 10868, otherwise known as the Centenarian Act of 2016.
“Our intention in filing HB No. 907 is to make the cash gift more accessible to more Filipinos and enable them to enjoy it during the twilight years of their lives where medicines and other necessities are more urgent,” he said.
RA 10868 states that centenarians whether residing in the Philippines or abroad are entitled to a cash reward of P100,000.
Lagon, a registered electronics and communications engineer and a farmer, said, while the intent of RA 10868 is laudable, he said “very few Filipinos get to live long enough to enjoy these special benefits.”
Citing the 2018 World Health Organization (WHO) study, he pointed out that the average life expectancy of Filipinos is 69.3 years old.
“It should also be noted that many of those who are lucky enough to qualify for RA No. 10868 no longer have the mental faculties to appreciate and enjoy the cash gift,” he said.
“May kasabihan nga tayong mga Pilipino na aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo,” he added.
Lagon, an accomplished cocker and game fowl breeder with numerous international and local titles, hails from Mambusao town in Capiz in Panay Island.