Senate bill grants P1M to Filipinos who will reach 101 years old
Senator Risa Hontiveros has filed a bill granting P1 million to Filipinos who will reach 101 years old.
Senate Bill 1951 also seeks to provide P25,000 cash gifts to Filipinos who will reach the age of 80, 85, 90 and 95.
In her explanatory note, Hontiveros said these amendments to the law would benefit the elderly population by providing them with needed funds and motivating them to continue to live productive lives.
"The potential beneficiaries of the Centenarians Act of 2016 remain limited because most of the elderly population do not become centenarians. Therefore, this bill, also inspired by the concept of healthy and active aging, aims to amend the act to provide senior citizens with greater assistance," she said.
Hontiveros also noted that many senior citizens live in poverty and suffer from poor health. She cited a 2018 study which found that 46% of the senior citizens live under the poverty line.
Further, the lawmaker said that most senior citizens do not enjoy some form of pension mechanism.
"Even with the slowing down of the COVID-19 pandemic, the elderly's exacerbated predicaments remain as many seniors struggle to access sufficient food, medicine and income," she said.
At a Senate committee on social justice, welfare, and rural development hearing in February, budget concerns were raised against bills seeking to grant cash gifts to Filipinos who are 80 and 90 years old.
The Department of Budget and Management said additional cash grants for the elderly would "greatly affect the limited fiscal space" of the government while the Department of Finance is concerned over the government's capability to sustain these benefits. — Hana Bordey/RSJ, GMA Integrated News