By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Eastern Samar lone district Rep. Maria Fe Abunda has filed a bill proposing that a P100,000 cash gift be given to centenarians to be divided in three tranches and granted in advance to the elderly upon reaching the age of 80.
The neophyte lawmaker seeks to amend Section 2 of Republic Act (RA) No. 10868, the Centenarians Act of 2016, by dividing the cash gift into three tranches particularly when the beneficiary turns 80, 90, and 100 years old.
Under House Bill No. 6360, Abunda proposed that a cash gift of P25,000 shall be received by senior citizens on their 80th birthday, another P25,000 on their 90th birthday, and P50,000 on their 100th birthday.
“By providing these proposed advance disbursements to our qualified senior citizens, it will provide them with early opportunities to use the cash gifts for their necessary resources, medicines, and other daily expenses at a much earlier age,” she said in her bill’s explanatory note.
“The amendment will allow more of our country’s elderly to enjoy and take advantage of the financial incentive as they proceed into the twilight years of their lives,” she added.
HB 6360 has been referred to the House Special Committee on Senior Citizens, chaired by party-list Rep. Francisco Datol Jr. (Senior Citizens).
The P50,000 cash gift shall be given 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.
“To care for those who once cared for us and who have carried our nation’s cultural heritage need to be given the proper assistance and must be able to enjoy this assistance as soon as they enter the latter years of their lives. This measure will be of great financial assistance for their well-being and the enjoyment of their families,” Abunda said.
RA 10868 states that centenarians, whether residing in the Philippines or abroad, are entitled to a cash reward of P100,000.
Datol and party-list Rep. Sonny Lagon (Ako Bisaya) earlier filed similar measures amending the 2016 Centenarians Law.