The chairman of the House Committee on Labor and Employment called for the adjustment from 35 to 40 or 49 the age qualification of retiring foreign nationals who will be allowed to settle in the country.
1PACMAN Partylist Rep. Enrico Pineda aired this proposal as he called on legislators to look at the brighter side of the controversy surrounding the surge in entry of retiring foreign nationals into the Philippines.
Unlike many senators who were alarmed over the revelation that many foreign retirees who are as young as 35-years-old have settled in the Philippines, Pineda expressed a different view and welcomed this development.
“With all due respect to the opinion of our esteemed senators in the Upper Chamber of Congress, I believe that the entry of foreign nationals who wish to retire and consider our country as their second home, is a welcome development,” said Pineda.
“Our country is still reeling from the impact of the pandemic. These retirees from other countries are willing to invest in our country by bringing business here,” he said.
During a recent Senate hearing, officials of the Philippine Retirement Authority said foreign retirees currently staying in the country are aged 35 and above.
Many of these retirees, PRA General Manager Bienvenido Chi said, are Chinese nationals.
PRA data indicated that Chinese are the youngest among retirees seeking to settle in the Philippines, with 27,000 of them already here. Next are South Koreans with 14,000 and Indians with 6,000.
Senators said young retirees are still capable of gaining employment and may displace Filipinos from job vacancies or may engage in illegal activities.
However, Pineda said the foreign retirees must be allowed entry in the Philippines so long as they will not take jobs from Filipino citizens.
Pineda said these retirees should be welcomed if they will invest in the country and help create jobs for Filipinos.
“Investments and income, however small, will help our country in the long run, as it bounces back on its feet,” the partylist solon stated.
The Philippine Retiree Visa requires those aged 50-years-old and above to have a time deposit of $10,000 to $20,000 for its issuance. $50,000, on the other hand, are required for those who are aged 35 to 49.
“On the other hand, I agree with the sentiment of our counterparts in the Senate that the minimum retiree age must be reconsidered and reviewed by the Department of Tourism (DoT) and the Philippine Retirement Authority,” said Pineda.
“I think it would be better if it would be adjusted to 40 to 49 years, instead of 35.”
He added: “However, we have to be very cautious in the review of our retirement visa policies for us not to be misconstrued to be shooing away retirees. Promoting the Philippines as a retirement haven as a matter of policy should still be one of the pillars of the tourism program of the government