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Marcos signs expanded Centenarian Law 

Cristina Chi - Philstar.com
Marcos signs expanded Centenarian Law 
“We in Congress are determined to sustain the annual funding required for the P100,000 cash gift of every Filipino who turns 100 years old,” Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. said yesterday.
STAR / Miguel De Guzman / File

MANILA, Philippines — Senior citizens will soon be getting a P10,000 cash gift upon reaching the age of 80 and every five years after until the age of 95 under the newly signed expanded Centenarians Act.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed into law Republic Act (RA) 11982 on Monday granting benefits to octogenarians and nonagenarians. The law covers Filipinos residing in the Philippines or abroad.

This new law for seniors expands the coverage of the current RA 10868 or the Centenarians Act of 2016, which entitles Filipinos aged 100 years old with a cash gift worth P100,000.

RA 11982 also creates an Elderly Data Management System to identify seniors eligible to avail of the benefits of the law.

Hailing the approval of the measure, one of the authors of the House version of the law, Rep. Alfred Delos Santos (Ang Probinsyano Partylist), urged the Philippine Statistics Authority to fast-track the issuance of national IDs, including for seniors, so they can avail of the cash grant while the elderly database is still being set up.

Some local government units (LGUs) in low-income provinces are unable to provide senior’s IDs that are made of plastic and with a QR code, Delos Santos said, necessitating the need for alternative IDs.

“To avoid problems in the implementation of Amendments to the Centenarians Act and while the elderly database is still being developed, a combination of IDs should be presented. This includes the LGU senior’s ID, PhilSys ID, and other IDs,” Delos Santos said.

With the national budget for 2024 already in place, Rep. Rodolfo Ordanes (Senior Citizen Partylist), chair of the House committee on senior citizens, said that the funding for the new law can be taken from the unprogrammed funds of the 2024 General Appropriations Act.

RELATED: Public should keep eye on government use of 'bloated' unprogrammed funds — budget expert | Philstar.com 

“Use of the Unprogrammed Funds or savings can be justified because the law is new, and the amount needed would not be huge because the numbers of seniors turning 80, 85, 90, and 95 this year would not be too many to be unaffordable,” Ordanes said.

Similarly, Rep. Elizaldy Co (Ako Bicol Partylist), chair of the House appropriations committee, said that savings can be tapped with authorization from the Department of Budget and Management.

Ordanes said that the implementing rules and regulations should clarify whether seniors who turned 80, 85, 90 and 95 this year before the new law took effect can avail of the cash gift.

The National Commission of Senior Citizens under the Office of the President is the lead implementing agency of RA 11982.

 

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