Senator Imee Marcos said she is supporting the advancing of the government’s cash gift of P100,000 to Filipino centenarians even before they reach 100 years old.
Marcos, who chairs the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare, and Rural Development, has sponsored a consolidated bill of amendments to the Centenarians Act of 2016, with input from fellow senators Ramon Revilla Jr., Christopher Go, Risa Hontiveros, Aquilino Pimentel III, and Sherwin Gatchalian.
In her sponsorship speech Wednesday, Marcos said senior citizens will be able to receive portions of the P100,000 cash gift when they reach 80, 90, and 100 years old, if the consolidated bill is passed into law.
To ensure that no senior citizen 80 years old and above is left out, Marcos also introduced the creation of an Elderly Management System, which mandates the Philippine Statistics Authority to record relevant demographic data, in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Information and Technology, the National Commission on Senior Citizens, and local government units.
“We have a saying: What use is cut grass to a dead horse? Our grandparents should be able to enjoy their due benefits while they’re still around,” the senator said.
Recent government statistics put Filipinos’ average life expectancy at 79 years old for men and 83 years old for women. Only 10% of the more than nine million senior citizens are at least 80 years old.
Marcos emphasized that the high cost of basic necessities and of maintenance medicines for common elderly illnesses as heart ailments, diabetes, and kidney failure call for advancing portions of the cash gift for centenarians.
Funding the amendments to the Centenarians Act will be included in the annual national budget, subject to a yearly review and adjustment by the National Economic and Development Authority according to the average inflation rate of three prior years.