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, said Senator Sonny Angara.
Citing a study by the Coalition of Services of the Elderly, he said more than half of the country’s senior citizens do not receive any form of pension.
“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.
“They are already retired. If they have savings, these are not enough for their daily expenses. The payment for their check-up and for medicines are not enough,” he added.
At present, he said indigent senior citizens are provided with a social pension amounting to P500 per month or P6,000 a year.
Making good on his campaign promise, Angara has filed Senate Bill No. 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 P12,000 a year.
The bill also widens the coverage to include senior citizens who do not receive any form of pension.
He said 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.
“We have to take into account factors such as inflation in reviewing the social pension of our senior citizens,” said Angara.
The coverage of the program, he said, can also be expanded further to include those who are receiving below basic pension.