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SMNI DEBATE

Give seniors more benefits, let them work – four presidential bets

/ 03:22 AM February 16, 2022
Close up of hand of a senior citizen, for story: Give seniors more benefits, let them work – four presidential bets

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MANILA, Philippines — Four presidential candidates promised on Tuesday to seek better health benefits for senior citizens and to allow them to keep working.

These are the candidates who took part in the presidential debate sponsored by the Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) – labor leader Leody de Guzman, former Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales, former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and former presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella.

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“We should really support our senior citizens,” De Guzman said in Filipino. “And in my view, we should really let our senior citizens continue doing the job that they need to help us — meaning, these are not the heavy jobs… It would be a big help for them to feel that they are still part of the society that they move in.”

“At the same time, they should have a higher level of aid — not only in the benefits they would get from the SSS and the GSIS, but their health care should be addressed by the government because the pension they are getting will all be used for buying medicines,” he added.

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Gonzales agreed with De Guzman’, saying: “That’s OK. Ka Leody already said it”

Meanwhile, Marcos said senior citizens should not be discriminated against and receive health insurance paid for by the government.

“Maybe we should include in their pension the payments for their health insurance. The government will pay for their health insurance,” he said.

Marcos noted that senior citizens face age discrimination and they should not experience it.

“So if those who are older can do it,  we should not discriminate against them and allow them to continue to work,” he said.

For his part, Abella said senior citizens would need, among others, economic support.

“Provide them with health [care] and get them continually involved, especially in community service. They still can help,” he said. “Grant them economic support and then let’s continue giving them support for their well-being.”

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The other presidential candidates — Vice President Leni Robredo, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, and Manila  Mayor Isko Moreno — skipped the SMNI debate due to various reasons.

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TAGS: #VotePH2022, 2022 presidential race, Ernesto Abella, Ferdinand Marcos, Leody de Guzman., Norberto Gonzales, senior citizens, SMNI presidential debate
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