By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Akbayan partylist Rep. Tom Villarin is proposing a universal monthly pension, amounting to P1,000, be granted to all senior citizens, aged 65 years and above, to augment their daily subsistence and other medical needs.
Under House Bill 9040, the opposition lawmaker batted for the P1,000 monthly pension for the elderly’s “social protection.”
“As the population continues to age, there is a need to sustain the support for ageing citizens. Such provision of social protection is a necessity if society aims to give senior citizens with dignity as they further age,” Villarin said.
Citing Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) estimates, he noted that the number of Filipinos over 60 years of age is set to triple in the next 30 years.
From 7.6 million in 2015, the number of senior citizens is expected to reach 22.6 million in 2045, he said, quoting the PSA.
“The social pension envisioned in this legislative proposal is to allow senior citizens to cope up with the rising cost of living,” he explained.
Under House Bill 9040, a monthly social pension of P1,000 shall be provided to all senior citizens aged 65 years old and above and indigent senior citizens aged between 60 to 64 years old.
It provides that five years from the effectivity of the proposed law, all senior citizens shall be entitled to a monthly social pension at the prevailing rate, which shall not be less than P1,000.
“To ensure that fluctuations in the daily subsistence expenses and other needs of senior citizens are taken into account, this bill proposes a mandatory review of the social pension based on prevailing economic indicators,” Villarin said.
HB 9040 provides that the amount of social pension shall be reviewed and when necessary, increased by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) every two years after the effectivity of the proposed Act, in consultation with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and other stakeholders. (Charissa M. Luci-Atienza) ###