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Revilla wants to lower senior citizen age to 56 so they can enjoy benefits sooner

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Revilla wants to lower senior citizen age to 56 so they can enjoy benefits sooner
Undated file photo shows senior citizens.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman, File

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. has filed a bill seeking to lower the age to be legally considered a senior citizen to 56 from 60 in what he said is a move to let more elderly people enjoy the benefits given to seniors.

Revilla’s Senate Bill No. 1573 aims to amend Republic Act No. 7432 so that people aged 56 can be legally considered as senior citizens.

Senior citizens get a 20% discount on transportation, lodging, food and medicine and are exempted from paying income taxes, among other benefits under the Senior Citizens Act.

The bill does not change retirement age, which, for government service is compulsory at 65. Optional retirement from government service is at 60, which is also the traditional retirement age for the private sector.

"Today, especially during the pandemic, a lot weren’t lucky enough to reach the age of 60. As the saying goes: ‘What good is grass if the horse is dead?’" Revilla said in a statement.

"That’s why as long as there is still time, we should give them importance by letting them enjoy benefits. Let’s remember that their hands molded whatever good we are experiencing now," he added.

Lawmakers in previous Congresses have also pushed to lower the senior citizen age, albeit unsuccessfully. — Xave Gregorio

SENIOR CITIZENS

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