By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. is seeking to grant cash incentives to senior citizens aged 80 and 90 by amending the Centenarians Act of 2016.
Revilla’s Senate Bill No. 295 was discussed recently in a joint hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare, and Rural Development with the Committees on Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation.
The measure proposes an advanced and staggered distribution of the P100,000 cash gift given to seniors who reach 100 years old, as mandated by Republic Act No. 10868.
Revilla, in his proposal, cited statistics indicating that many elderly Filipinos do not reach the age of 100.
Under the bill, senior citizens shall receive P25,000 when they reach the age of 80; another P25,000 upon reaching the age of 90, and the remaining P50,000 when they reach 100.
Representatives of the senior citizen sector expressed their support for the measure, with one group saying that the cash gifts would be of “greater value” if given in staggered amounts at ages when interventions are most needed to ensure their health and wellness.
It was also reported to the Senate panel that Filipino centenarians allow their children or caregivers handle the P100,000 incentive. The cash grant is usually divided among the children or other relatives of the centenarians.
But during the public hearing Wednesday, they proposed that the higher amount be given at 80 years old, P50,000; and P25,000 when the senior citizen turns 90 and 100, respectively.
This way, senior citizens will be able to enjoy the cash gifts granted to them while they are younger.
Revilla told the senior citizen groups that he will study the proposal.
The Department of Budget and Management said the government needs at least P19.8 billion to implement the advanced cash grants if it is enacted.