A neophyte lawmaker on Saturday backed the proposal filed at the House of Representatives increasing senior citizens' monthly pension from P500 to P1,000.
“Our indigent senior citizens need all the help they can get especially during this pandemic. It wil be of great help if their monthly pension will be increased,” Assistant Majority Leader and Rizal Rep. Fidel Nograles said.
Nograles was referring to House Bill 7266 filed by Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez who sought to amend the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 (R.A. 9994). He said he would coordinate with Rodriguez in pushing for the immediate passage of the measure.
Besides doubling the amount of monthly pension that senior citizens receive, the bill also relaxes some provisions so that more senior citizens could qualify for the pension.
Currently, only senior citizens who are “frail, sickly or with disability, and without pension or permanent source of income, compensation or financial assistance from his/her relatives to support his/her basic needs” as determined by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) are qualified for the stipend.
Thus, only about 29 percent of 7.5 to 8 million senior citizens are covered by the government allowance.
“We will coordinate with Cong. Rufus to speed up the bill's passage and we will ask our fellow legislators to support the measure," said Nograles, vice chair of the House committee on justice.
“We owe a great debt to our elderly who have contributed much to our nation-building efforts. It’s only right that we repaid their sacrifices by providing the support that they need so they could live decently,” he added.