Hontiveros pushes for additional P4-B for senior citizens’ pension
Senator Risa Hontiveros is pushing for an additional P4 billion for the social pension of another 600,000 senior citizens in 2018.
In the proposed 2018 national budget, the senator said the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) fund for its social pension for the elderly amounts to P19.2 billion, covering 3 million senior citizens. However, she noted that there are approximately 3.6 million validated indigent senior citizens.
“This means that the 2018 budget is P4 billion short and six hundred thousand indigent senior citizens will be left behind. We cannot allow this to happen. I will make the appropriate budget intervention to correct this error,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
The senator, a member of the Senate committee on finance, reiterated her call for a universal social pension fund for senior citizens.
On Thursday’s press conference of the Coalition of Services for the Elderly (COSE) in Quezon City, Hontiveros said that there should be a universality of social pension for senior citizens and immediately for the “most senior,” the indigent, and those who are not covered by the government’s existing pension programs.
“A universal social pension fund for senior citizens is not an act of charity. It is about recognition and empowerment. By investing in senior citizens, we recognize their contributions to society; we empower them to capably respond to the challenges of the aging process, help them achieve a better quality of life and keep them as productive members of society,” she said.
Consequently, Hontiveros said that she will introduce a provision to provide the universality of social pension to cover the most senior among the senior citizens aged 75 and up.
“The ultimate goal is to cover all senior citizens. However, for the 2018 budget, we will target the universality of social pension to cover the most senior among the senior citizens, who we believe are the most in-need,” the senator said. /je
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