An opposition leader in the House of Representatives on Saturday paid tribute to grandparents providing effective guardianship of grandchildren due to growing number of overseas Filipino workers and even single parents.
“We salute all Filipino centenarians for their longevity, and for their lives of service to family, community and to nation,” Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr., a deputy minority leader, said as the country pays tribute today, Oct.1, to all Filipinos who have lived to or beyond the age of 100 years.
National Respect for Centenarians Day is observed every first Sunday of October by virtue of Republic Act 10868, or the Centenarians Law of 2016.
“In Makati, the city government has been paying tribute to every centenarian with a one-time P100,000 gift and a plaque of recognition since 2013—long before the passage of the Centenarians Law,” Campos said, adding that the city has so far recognized 42 residents who have turned a century old.
The P100,000 from the city government is on top of the P100,000 from the national government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development, as mandated by the Centenarians Law, according to Campos.
The national government has set aside P189.5 million of its budget for 2018 to pay for the P100,000 one-time bonus of 1,895 Filipinos who are turning 100 years old.
By virtue of Presidential Proclamation 470 series of 1994, Oct. 1 also marks the start of Elderly Filipino Week, in honor of all senior citizens above 60 years of age.
“We take this occasion to applaud elderly Filipinos who, due to changes in family structures, have become even more valuable to preservation of our values and traditions,” Campos said.
On account of the growing number of overseas Filipino workers and single parents, Campos said many households now rely on grandparents to provide effective guardianship of their grandchildren.
“We also have many elderly Filipinos who have opted to stay productive economically not only to help support themselves, but also to support their financially struggling children and grandchildren,” he said.
Campos said countless old-age pensioners are also spending their social security benefits to help pay for the schooling and other needs of their grandchildren.