THE proposed increase in the 2024 budget of the social pension program for indigent senior citizens reflects the state’s genuine concern over the welfare of the elderly.
Likewise, this, we think, reflects sensitivity to public opinion and public welfare that should be encouraged among government departments, offices and agencies.
The proposed 2024 General Appropriations Act (GAA) includes P49.81 billion to fund the social pension of 4.1 million indigent senior citizens across the country.
The allocation is double the P25.3 billion in the 2023 national budget, said Secretary Amenah Pangandaman of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Secretary Pangandaman made the announcement during the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) meeting at the House of Representatives.
The DBCC was created on May 14, 1970 through Executive Order No. 232.
Every year, the coordinating committee determines the country’s overall economic targets, expenditure levels, the revenue projection, deficit levels and the financing plan.
Launched through Republic Act (RA) No. 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, the social pension program grants a monthly stipend of P500 to a beneficiary.
But RA No. 11916, otherwise known as the Social Pension for Indigent Seniors Act, officially doubled the monthly pension of an indigent elderly from P500 to P1,000.
While many quarters concede that the P1,000 monthly pension is not enough to the meet the mushrooming needs of a senior citizen, the stipend is a big help to the elderly.