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Amending Centenarian Act to benefit SCs

March 23, 2023 Camille P. Balagtas 164 views

SENATOR Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. on Thursday co-sponsored Senate Bill (SB) No. 2028 under Committee Report No. 61, which seeks to amend Republic Act ()RA No. 10868 or the “Centenarians Act of 2016” in order to grant monetary benefits to senior citizens (SCs) aged 80 years old and 90 years old. Revilla is the principal author of the bill.

The lawmaker first advocated the amendments in 2020 during the 18th Congress.

“Naantala man ng bahagya, alam nating darating ang tamang panahon para rito. And today is that day. This is one of my priority measures this Congress. Hindi tayo mapapagod at hindi matitinag para ilaban ang panukalang ito. Because our dear senior citizens deserve no less,” said Revilla.

Under the present law, only those who reach the age of 100 years enjoy the benefit of a cash gift. However, many senior citizens do not reach the said age. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the average life expectancy in 2022 is 71 years for Filipino men and 78 years for Filipino women.

“Many beneficiaries are too old to enjoy the cash gift they receive. Mayroon pa ngang salaysay na hindi na naiintindihan ng ating mga lolo at lola kung anuman ang natatanggap nila. Panukala lang natin na may ma-advance lang sana ang mga nakatatanda upang kahit papano ay ma-enjoy pa nila,” the veteran lawmaker said.

If approved, a cash gift in the total amount of P100,000 shall be distributed in three equal tranches to individuals upon reaching the ages of 80, 90, and 100. Moreover, the measure provides that the amount shall be subject to annual adjustment by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to account for inflation.

“Let us recognize and value the role that our elders play in our society. Tayong mga Pinoy, normal na sa ating kultura ang paggalang at pagpapahalaga sa mga nakakatanda. Hindi ito bago sa ating pamumuhay, lahat tayo ay ipinanganak at lumaki sa aral na ang mga nakatatanda ay iginagalang, nirerespeto at pinapahalagahan. And this legislative measure is a testimony to that special Filipino culture,” the solon said in closing.

As reported by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), a total of 9,230 centenarians have benefitted since the implementation of the law – 2,739 in 2016; 940 in 2017; 1,509 in 2018; 1,090 in 2019; 985 in 2020; 1,305 in 2021; and 662 in 2022.