By Hannah Torregoza
A coalition promoting the interest of senior citizens has called on Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara to pursue more meaningful measures aimed at enhancing the welfare of the Filipino elderly in the Senate.
The Coalition of Services of the Elderly Inc. (COSE), an umbrella organization, made the call as they expressed their support for Angara’s reelection bid in the upcoming May 2019 midterm elections, stating they believe the lawmaker would be instrumental in pushing for more programs aimed at improving the quality of life and welfare of senior citizens.
“For many years, Angara has proven himself to be an ally of the elderly and has assured us that he will continue to work to produce more meaningful measures not just for the benefit of all senior citizens but for every Filipino as well,” COSE said in a statement.
“As we push for a universal social pension in the next Congress, Senator Sonny Angara will be instrumental in this endeavor. Therefore, the Coalition of Services of the Elderly Inc. wholeheartedly gives our support to the young legislator,” the group also said.
According to COSE, the senator “has truly lived up to the legacy of his father—the original champion of the elderly and the author of the original Senior Citizens Act of 1993.”
The son of the late Senate President Edgardo Angara, who is known as the “Father of the Senior Citizens Law” that grants 20 percent discount and other benefits to seniors, the younger Angara, is one of the authors of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act and the Universal Social Pension bill.
In response, Angara vowed to continue forwarding the interest and welfare of millions of Filipino senior citizens if he gets elected for another six-year term.
“Nakatataba po ng puso ang suporta at tiwala ng ating mga nakatatanda. Bilang ganti, makakaasa po kayo na patuloy kong isusulong ang mga karapatan at kapakanan ng ating mga minamahal na senior citizen, (My heart is overwhelmed at the support and trust given to me by our elderly citizens. In response, I assure you that I will pursue the rights and the welfare of our beloved senior citizens),” Angara said in response to COSE’s endorsement of his candidacy.
The young Angara himself has authored and sponsored several measures that have become laws of the land.
These include Republic Act 10868 or the Centenarians Act that provides for cash gifts to 100-year-old Filipinos and RA 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, which provides for the 12-percent value-added tax (VAT) exemption and social pension for indigent senior citizens.
Angara had also filed Senate Bill No. 1865 which seeks to double the amount of social pension from P500 to P1,000 and expand the coverage to include all poor senior citizens and those without pension.
The lawmaker had earlier also filed a bill providing stiffer penalties and strengthened support for elderly victims of abuse. He also authored the measure creating the National Commission of Senior Citizens, a government agency devoted to attending to the needs and concerns of senior citizens.