House panel okays bill on cash gift for elderly

February 02, 2019

FOR them to enjoy life senior citizens should also receive cash gifts once they reach the age of 85, 90 and 95, a substitute bill proposes.

The bill has been approved by the House Special Committee on Senior Citizens, presided over by Vice Chairperson Rep. Milagros Aquino-Magsaysay.

The bill seeks to amend Section 2 of Republic Act 10868 or the “Centenarians Act of 2016” by including senior citizens who reach 85, 90, and 95 in the grant of cash gifts.

According to Aquino-Magsaysay, a representative of Senior Citizen party-list, the measure proposes a cash gift of P25,000 to be given to all Filipinos, whether residing in the Philippines or abroad, who reach the age of 85.

They will receive another P25,000 upon reaching 90 years old and another P50,000 when they reach the age of 95.

At present, only seniors aged 100 receive the Centenarian Gift  amounting to P100,000 and a letter of felicitation from the President of the Philippines congratulating  them on their longevity.

The requisite fund for the initial year of implementation shall be sourced from the available funds of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and subsequently the amount necessary to implement the provisions of the measure shall be included in the General Appropriations Act.

The Secretaries of the DSWD, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Health, and Commission on Filipinos Overseas shall promulgate the necessary guidelines for and shall take the lead in the effective implementation of the measure.

Patricia Salvador, a representative of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, expressed support for the bill. She also thanked the committee for including in its provisions Filipino senior citizens who reside outside the country.

Meanwhile, Aquino-Magsaysay gave assurances that the measure will be expedited and shall reach the plenary floor for deliberation and approval even if it still has to be transmitted to the House Committee on Appropriations for its funding provision.

“However, the newly elected Majority Leader Honorable Fredenil Castro has instructed all chairpersons to expedite the approval of measures referred to their respective committees. Once approved by the committee, the substitute bill could be transmitted to the Committee on Rules. And he assured me that he will see to it that our bill is approved before the adjournment,” she said.