There have long been comments about the P100,000 given to Filipinos upon reaching their 100th birth anniversary.
In the beginning, only a few local governments gave the benefit to their centenarians, prompting comments that it should apply to all centenarians in the country, not just to those living in the provinces and cities enacting ordinances granting the special benefit. Pampanga lowered the age of its beneficiaries – all natural-born Kapampangans — to 95 in 2014.
In 2016, Congress approved Republic Act 10868, the Centenarians Act, granting the P100,000 cash incentive and other additional benefits and privileges to all Filipinos reaching 100 years of age. President Benigno S. Aquino III signed it into law in June, 2016, just a week before his six-year presidential term ended.
Subsequent comments focused on the observation that most centenarians are no longer able to enjoy the benefits of the P100,000 cash grant. Those reaching the age of 90 – or even 80 in the view of some – should be given the P100,000 or a part of it
The House Special Committee on Senior Citizens has now approved a bill consolidating bills filed by five congressmen providing that senior citizens who reach the age of 85 receive P25,000 cash; those who reach 90 will receive another P25,000; those who reach 95 will get an additional P50,000. And those who reach 100 will receive P100,000 with a letter of felicitation from the president of the Philippines.
Senior Citizens partylist Rep. Milagros Aquino Magsaysay presided over the House Special Committee on Senior Citizens which approved the bill. The Commission on Filipinos Overseas thanked the Special Committee for including in the bill all Filipino senior citizens who now reside outside the country.
The Senate, in the meantime has approved a bill creating the National Commission of Senior Citizens, with the commissioners holding office in various regions of tht country. The commission is mandated to ensure the full implementation of laws, policies, and programs for the elderly in the country.
The many congressmen who filed separate bills that were consolidated into the final measure, the senators who approved the bill creating the new Commission of Senior Citizens, and all who value the contributions made by the counry’s senior citizens hope the measures will be approved and enacted into law before the current 17th Congress adjourns to give way to the 18th Congress after the May elections.