By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Senior Citizens partylist Rep. Francisco Datol Jr. is proposing that the cash reward of P100,000 being given to centenarians under the law, be granted “in advance” to the senior citizens upon reaching the age of 90.
He filed House Bill No. 5717 to amend the three-year old Republic Act (RA) No. 10868, or the Centenarians Act, to provide nonagenarians a cash gift amounting to P90,000 on their 90th birthday.
“An indication of a compassionate and humane society is its responsiveness to the needs of its elderly members and approval of this bill is one of them,” he said in his bill’s explanatory note.
He explained that his bill seeks to expand, extend or advance to nonagenarians the benefit given to centenarians by RA 10868.
“This advanced monetary benefit would be most likely needed by nonagenarians for their maintenance medicines and healthy food to further prolong their lives even beyond a century,” Datol said.
RA 10868 states that centennerians whether residing in the Philippines or abroad are entitled to a cash reward of P100,000.
Datol said very few Filipinos live up to 100 years or more, and some of them do not fully appreciate and enjoy the value of money and accolade.
He said it was most likely that it was their children or grandchildren who would end up benefitting from the benefits provided by the Centenarians Act.
“While nonagenarians are nearing centenarians and who have also shared their wisdom and enviable experiences to our youth, they should likewise be paid proper respect and feel equally valued. While, they are physically and comparatively stronger than centenarians, they could still fully appreciate the value of money and recognition,” he said.
HB 5717 provides that the centenarian cash gift of P100,000 be distributed and given as follows: Upon reaching the age of 90, P90,000 shall be advanced to him or her.
The P10,000 balance shall be given when he or she will reach 100 years old, together with a letter of felicitation from the President of the Republic of the Philippines congratulating the celebrant for his or her longevity, it provides.
Ako Bisaya party-list Rep. Sonny Lagon earlier filed House Bill No 907 seeking to provide the senior citizens a cash gift amounting to P80,000 on their 80th birthday
He said those who reach 80 years of age should be granted same financial benefits being given to centenarians under RA 10868, “to enable them to enjoy it during the twilight years of their lives where medicines and other necessities are more urgent.”
Citing the 2018 World Health Organization (WHO) study, he said 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.