The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said Thursday that more than 700 centenarians have received their cash reward of P100,000 as provided under a law passed in 2016.
“As of September 14, 2020, some 709 centenarians have received the P100,000 centenarian gift,” the DSWD said in a statement.
Under Republic Act No. 10868 or the Centenarians Act of 2016, centenarians whether residing in the Philippines or abroad are entitled to a cash reward of P100,000 and are expected to receive a Letter of Felicitation from the President of the Philippines congratulating the celebrant for his or her longevity.
The DSWD earlier said this year, a total of 952 centenarians are expected to receive their cash gifts as provided under the law.
From 2016 to 2019, a total of 5,609 centenarians nationwide have received their cash gift amounting to P560.9 million, it had reported.
The DSWD has adopted a house-to-house delivery scheme for the cash gifts intended for the centenarians “in cognizance of their health and physical limitations.”
In the same statement, the DSWD also took the opportunity to call on the public and private sectors to work together to promote and safeguard the interest and welfare of the elderly as the national celebration of the 26th Elderly Filipino Week slated from October 1 to 7 has been called off due to the current national state of emergency and enforcement of community quarantine measures.
“There will be no national celebration. Instead, DSWD is calling on national government agencies, local government units, and civil society organizations to keep in mind the significance of the Elderly Filipino Week and to work together to ensure that the rights and welfare of senior citizens are respected, protected and promoted,” the DSWD said.
“Since senior citizens are considered as high risk for virus transmission, the Department is appealing to the sector to refrain from holding mass gatherings during the week-long observance,” it said.
The nationwide EWF celebration, which started in 1994 is provided for by Proclamation No. 470, which highlights the significant role of the senior citizens’ sector in nation-building and in advocating for the promotion of their rights and welfare.
The DSWD said the theme of this year’s celebration is “Healthy and Productive Aging Starts With ME,” which seeks to promote the health, wellness, and productivity of senior citizens, particularly during the pandemic.
It noted that in conjunction with the EFW is the National Respect for Centenarians Day (NRCD) on October 4 or the First Sunday of October. The NRCD is in accordance with the Centenarians Act of 2016.
The Department said it is also seeking the passage of the Anti-Elder Abuse Bill, which seeks to penalize abuses committed against senior citizens, and develop strategies to prevent or reduce the abuses committed against them.
“This year, the Anti-Elder Abuse Bill is one of the Department’s priority legislative measures,” it said.
The DSWD said it is working closely with various senior citizens’ associations and NGOs, such as the Coalition of Services for the Elderly (COSE) and the Federation of Senior Citizens Associations in the Philippines (FSCAP) to advocate for pro-elderly legislative measures.
“The Department urges all sectors to work together in building a caring society where the rights of older persons are protected and respected,” it said.