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De Lima wants early cash gifts for senior citizens who reach 80, 90 years

Senator Leila de Lima on Saturday called on the Senate to promptly approve a measure seeking to grant senior citizens additional cash gifts of P10,000 when they reach 80 and 90, apart from the P100,000 incentive when they reach 100 years old.

De Lima, who chairs the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, sponsored Senate Bill (SB) 1319 on February 26, which seeks to grant the early cash incentives to the elderly.

Under Republic Act (RA) 10868, also known as the Centenarians Act of 2016, senior citizens should be given a mandatory cash gift of P100,000 when they reach 100 years old.

The opposition senator cited a Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) statement saying the government has "consistently failed" to reach the target of awarding 1,000 centenarians yearly as most Filipino senior citizens do not reach this age.

De Lima also cited 2018 World Health Organization estimates saying the average person residing in the Philippines has a life span of 69.3 years, which is three years shorter than the global average of age 72.

"Even more unfortunately, many, if not most, of our centenarians are already too old, sickly, and impaired to properly enjoy the blessings of the Centenarian Law," De Lima said.

Senators Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, Ramon Revilla Jr. and Juan Miguel Zubiri also authored SB 1319.

De Lima also principally sponsored and co-authored the Senior Citizen Bill in the Senate which has been enacted into law last year. —Jamil Santos/KG, GMA News