Robredo vows to double senior citizens’ stipend if elected president

Published February 21, 2022, 3:00 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Vice President and opposition leader Leni Robredo said on Monday, Feb. 21, she would increase the monthly allowance of indigent senior citizens from the national government if she wins the presidency in the upcoming polls.

Presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo (VPLR Media Bureau)

Robredo, a presidential aspirant, also promised to expand the program to include all elderly Filipinos.

She said her administration would increase the present stipend of P500 for senior citizens to P1,000, citing that it is a more realistic amount to cover their daily expenses such as their basic medicines.

Of the P202.5-billion budget for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) this year, she noted that P25 billion is earmarked for the monthly stipend for indigent seniors.

The Vice President revealed her plans to increase such funds to at least P50 billion on the first year of her presidency without imposing new taxes.

Robredo stressed that the government must allocate more funds for financial assistance to millions of elderly Filipinos than for hiring the services of consultants.

“We can achieve this by implementing a more rational way of spending the people’s money. We must rethink the non-essential expenses such as travel, seminars, vehicle acquisition, and the representation allowance given to government officials,” she said.

READ: On Valentine’s Day, Robredo-Kiko tandem signs accord with senior citizens

“We will encourage sacrifice on the part of everyone in the bureaucracy, starting with the Office of the President, to raise funds for important programs,” Robredo added.

The aspiring president listed down the expense items on which the government could save from its annual spending program, among which are travel (P19.6 billion), trainings (P39.5 billion), supplies and materials (P167.7 billion), and professional services or the hiring of consultants (P48.5 billion).

“Clearly, there is a lot of room in the national budget to generate funds for programs like doubling the monthly stipend of senior citizens,” she said.

Under her proposal of including seniors in the financial assistance program, the lady official noted many elderly retirees only receive small amounts of pension from the Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

“They too need help from the government. The monthly stipend from the national government would augment their pension,” she said.