SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
In view of the significant threat that the COVID-19 pandemic poses against senior citizens, the technical working group (TWG) of the House Committee on Senior Citizens, chaired by Rep. Francisco Datol, Jr. (Party-list, Senior Citizens), on Thursday approved the consolidation of 21 House Bills seeking to provide cash gifts to senior citizens.
The measures seek to amend Republic Act 10868 or the "Centenarians Act of 2016” which grants senior citizens who reach the age of 100, a “Centenarian Gift” of P100,000 and a Letter of Felicitation from the President of the Philippines congratulating the celebrant for his or her longevity.
Acting on the plea of senior citizens organizations, the TWG approved proposals to grant senior citizens with cash gifts even before they reach the age of 100. Senior citizens shall receive a cash gift of P25,000 at their 80th, 85th, 90th, and 95th birthdays. In sum, senior citizens shall get a total of P100,000 by the time they are 95 years old. Senior citizens shall also still receive P100,000 upon reaching the age of 100, as originally provided under the Centenarians Act.
Rep. Enrico Pineda (Party-list, 1PACMAN) pointed out that many senior citizens in their 80s are still physically fit and deserve the chance to use the cash gifts for their medicine or leisure. “Why not let the octogenarians enjoy the peak of their lives where they can spend their cash gifts provided to them by the law? This gesture will also mitigate the impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to senior citizens most of whom did not receive the Social Amelioration Fund during the lockdown,” said Pineda.
Meanwhile, the TWG also approved the proposal to change the phrase “Centenarian Gift” to “cash gift” under the Centenarians Act.
Others who joined the online meeting were Reps. Way Kurat Zamora, Dahlia Loyola, Manuel Cabochan III, Raul Tupas, Maria Fe Abunda, Sonny Lagon, Maria Lourdes Arroyo, Lito Atienza, Mark Go, Strike Revilla, Carlito Marquez, Nina Taduran, Ron Salo, and Yul Servo Nieto.