Last Tuesday, June 23, the House Special Committee on Senior Citizens passed the substitute bill on social pension that constitutes of distributing P1,000 to all Filipino senior citizens due to the collective need of the elderly to be given cash assistance, especially amidst the coronavirus disease pandemic.
Francisco Datol Jr. made the approval on the substitute bill on social pension. Kabayan partylist Rep. Ron Salo, the chairman of the technical working group (TWG) said that unified 23 bills already upon the expansion and increase of the social pension for the elderly, presented the bill of granting monthly cash assistance of P1,000 to the elderly.
Rep. Ron Salo said that the bill was written with the priority of consolidating the monthly social pension from P500 to P1,000; adding to say that the P1,000 was the minimum to be given to the elderly each month.
The minimum would be P1,000 per month to be given as benefit to our senior citizens.”
Substitute Bill on Social Pension to Further Assist the Elderly
The bill ameliorates Republic Act No. 9994 or the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.” It seeks to enhance the numerous conditions put into place by the law before a senior citizen is even able to receive the cash assistance.
Many people think that it’s unnecessary to give the elderly a hard time just to get financial aid or assistance; some even find it unethical to do so.
The substitute bill on social pension takes effect upon all Filipinos; whether they are receiving a pension from any pension provider to a monthly cash aid of P1,000 to further improve their daily subsistence and other medical needs. Each pensioner of Social Security System (SSS) and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) are to benefit from the substitute bill.
RA 9994 or the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010” states that seniors who are qualified to receive social pension are those who are frail, sickly or with a disability; without any pension from other government agencies; and without a permanent source of income or source of financial assistance/compensation to support their basic needs.
Extra Benefits is a NEED
Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate, one of the principal authors, thanked the Datol panel for approving the substitute bill on social pension; stating the current climate as well as the urgency of the elderly to receive cash or financial assistance.
Nasa pandemiya tayo ngayon, kailangan na kailangan talaga ng dagdag na ayuda ng ating mga elderly people. (We are in midst of pandemic, our elderly people badly need this additional aid)… Sana ay matanggap nila ang ayuda na ito sa immediate na panahon.”
In Translation: I hope that they will receive this as soon as possible). I thank the Special Committee on Senior Citizens for passing this bill, and hopefully, we can bring this to the plenary the soonest possible time and for the plenary to approve this bill.
He noted that there is a counterpart bill in the Senate.
Hopefully, during the second regular session of our Congress, we enact the amendment to the social pension into law.”
Beneficiaries of the Substitute Bill on Social Pension
Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Eufemia Cullamat also noted the panel’s effort to alleviate the troubles of senior citizens; and even asked of her colleagues to make sure that the elderly from the indigenous peoples will benefit from the bill.
This is to extend the assistance and the help they can give even to the minority of the country.
In the distribution of social pension, I hope they include all indigenous peoples in the country.”
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is entrusted to survey all individuals eligible for the monthly social pension based upon a central database.
It includes the Census of Population and Housing; as well as a list of the beneficiaries of all pension providers according to the bill.
It stated that pension providers must grant DSWD timely access to their roster of beneficiaries and any applicable data.
The SSS, GSIS, PGMC (Pension and Gratuity Management Center), and other pension providers shall provide the DSWD with access to their roster of beneficiaries every month for this purpose.”
The substitute bill tasks the DSWD, in conjunction with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), as well as other stakeholders “to review and when necessary, adjust the amount of social pension every two years after the effectivity of this Act, taking into account the various needs of senior citizens and relevant economic indicators as reported and published by pertinent government agencies and authorities.”
It provides that the social pension “shall not be less than the amount initially specified in this Act.”
Do you approve of the substitute bill on social pension? Moreover, is the cash assistance just timely amidst the COVID-19 pandemic?