House passes bill increasing monthly social pension of senior citizens

Published August 2, 2021, 5:32 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

The House of Representatives on Monday, August 2, approved on final reading the bill increasing the social pension of indigent senior citizens.

(MARK BALMORES/MANILA BULLETIN File Photo)

Voting 225-0, the Lower House approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 9459, which seeks to expand the coverage of Republic Act (RA) No. 7432 or An Act to Maximize the Contribution of Senior Citizens to Nation-Building, Grant Benefits, and Special Privileges, and amend some provisions of RA 9994 or Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

The measure primarily seeks to augment the capacity of indigent senior citizens to meet their daily subsistence and medical needs.

Under the bill, indigent senior citizens would be entitled to an additional P1,000 monthly financial stipend to help defray the cost of their daily expenditures.

The bill also mandates the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to review, and if necessary, increase the amount of the social pension every two years after the effectivity of this proposed law, taking into account the various needs of senior citizens and in consideration of relevant economic indicators.

Once passed into law, the DSWD would be mandated to appropriate the necessary amount needed for the initial implementation of the Act using their current budget.

Afterwards, the continued implementation of the proposed law would be included in the General Appropriations Act (GAA).

House deputy minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said he voted yes to the bill in recognition of the hardships and sacrifices that indigent senior citizens have to endure especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.

“We cannot ignore the fact that a P500 monthly social pension is measly and won’t help them at all especially since we are in the middle of a crisis worsened by this pandemic,” Zarate said in explaining his vote.

“On top of their maintenance drugs, food and daily needs, they also need to buy for themselves face masks and face shields and other needs,” he added.

 
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