Sotto seeks P500 increase in social pension of indigent seniors
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III has filed a bill proposing a P500 increase in the minimum monthly social pension of indigent senior citizens.
Sotto filed Senate Bill No. 2243 which seeks to amend the Senior Citizens Act and raise the amount of social pension for indigent senior citizens.
Under the measure, indigent senior citizens are entitled to a monthly social pension of at least P1,000.
“To address their pressing needs, this bill seeks to provide an 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 defray the cost of daily subsistence and other medical needs,” Sotto said in the bill’s explanatory note.
In 2019, there are over 3.7 million indigent senior citizens in the country, noted Sotto.
“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,” he added.
While there are available benefits and privileges for senior citizens at present in the country, these can only be availed from merchants in malls and big service providers which the indigent elderly “cannot afford to go to due to the higher prices of goods in these establishments.”
“These discounts are mostly not available in the neighborhood stores and in their local wet markets,” Sotto said.
“Thus, the rising cost of living and the added financial burden brought about by the present pandemic has taken a toll on our indigent senior citizens,” he added.
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