MANILA — For most individuals, hitting the age of 60 means enjoying the rest of your life, free from work and stress. But not everyone is so lucky.
Citing a study by the Coalition of Services of the Elderly, Senator Sonny Angara noted that more than half of the country’s senior citizens do not receive any form of pension, a reality that he said is sad but not hopeless.
“They took care of us when we were young, made several sacrifices to provide for our needs and when they reach their twilight years, many are left to fend for themselves,” Angara said.
“Retired na sila, kung may kaunti man sila na naipon, kulang pa ito sa pang araw-araw na gastusin nila. At hindi pa kasama dito ang checkup sa doktor at mga gamot na kailangan bilhin (They have retired, if they have small savings, it’s not enough for their daily expenses, excluding checkup and medicines they need to buy),” he added.
At present, indigent senior citizens are provided with a social pension amounting to PHP500 per month or PHP6,000 a year.
Making good on his campaign promise, Angara has filed Senate Bill 133 that would amend the Expanded Senior Citizen’s Act of 2010, to increase the social pension granted to senior citizens by 100 percent or PHP12,000 a year.
The bill also widens the coverage to include senior citizens who do not receive any form of pension.“A review of the social pension system will be done every two years after the effectivity of the law with the intent of raising the monthly stipend as necessary,” Angara said.
“We have to take into account factors such as inflation in reviewing the social pension of our senior citizens,” said Angara, while adding that the coverage of the program can also be expanded further to include those who are receiving below basic pension.
Angara, whose father former Senate President Edgardo Angara was the author of the Senior Citizen’s Act of 1992 or the Angara Law, was one of the authors of the Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizen’s Act of 2010. (PR)