Sotto files bill increasing social pension of indigent seniors
June 03, 2021 08:00 PM
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III files a bill increasing pension for indigent senior citizens.
“These are 3,796,791 individuals who are struggling to meet with their needs for basic commodities and healthcare due to lack of permanent source of income since they can no longer work fully and seek gainful employment."
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III proposed increasing the minimum monthly social pension of indigent senior citizens by P500.
He filed Senate Bill No. 2243, which aims to amend the Senior Citizens Act to raise the monthly stipend. Under the measure, senior citizens receive a monthly social pension of at least P1,000.
The bill’s explanatory note read, “To address their pressing needs, this bill seeks to provide additional financial assistance to indigent senior citizens. This is in the form of a monthly stipend amounting to an additional P500 from the current social pension, for a total of P1,000. This will aid our indigent senior citizens to defray the cost of daily subsistence and other medical needs.”
The Senate chief acknowledged that while senior citizens are already entitled to some added benefits, it is usually limited to larger merchants and shopping malls. He added that most elderly persons “cannot afford to go [to malls] due to the higher prices of goods in these establishments.”
“These [senior citizen] discounts are mostly not available in the neighborhood stores and in their local wet markets,” he said.
The COVID pandemic has also greatly affected them, added Sotto, since coronavirus is more deadly when contracted by persons over 60 years old.
In 2019, there were 3.7 million indigent senior citizens in the Philippines, Sotto stated.
“These are 3,796,791 individuals who are struggling to meet with their needs for basic commodities and healthcare due to lack of permanent source of income since they can no longer work fully and seek gainful employment,” the Senate chief added.