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Cebu News

Cebuano legislators authors of new law

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu legislators were among the principal authors of the recently approved Republic Act (RA) 11982, which grants benefits to Filipinos reaching the age of 80, 85, 90, and 95 years old.

The newly-approved law amended Republic Act 10868 (Centenarian Act of 2016), which now extends benefits not only to Filipinos aged 100 years old but also those persons reaching the age less than 100 years old but not lower than 80 years old.

One of the co-authors, Mandaue City Lone District Rep. Emmarie Ouano-Dizon, explained that the new law entitles all Filipinos who reach the age of 80, 85, 90, and 95 to receive a cash gift of P10,000 each.

“Pasabot ani nga inig-abot og 80 years old, makadawat siya og P10,000. Unya inig-85 years old, niya makadawat na sad siya og laing P10,000. Unya inig-90 years old na niya makadawat na sad siya og P10,000. And inig-95 years old na siya, another P10,000,” she told The Freeman yesterday.

“Unya kung makaabot pa gyud siya sa pangidaron nga usa ka gatos anyos, madawat gihapon niya ang cash gift nga usa ka gatos ka libos ka pesos nga maoy gilatid sa orihinal nga balaod, Republic Act No. 10868,” also said Ako Bisaya Partylist Rep. Sonny Lagon and Cebu 6th district Rep. Daphne Lagon, in their joint statement.

Ouano-Dizon said that aside from monetary awards, the amending law retains the provision stating that the 100-year-old recipient will also be honored through a letter of felicitation from the President of the Philippines, congratulating the celebrant for his or her longevity.

She said funding would come from the Department Social Welfare and Development during the initial years of the implementation of the law and then subsequently as part of the annual General Appropriations Act.

“I am happy for those lolo ug lolas nga even in their 80s and 90s, matagaan na og fitting recognition. Kay ang ilang naabot nga edad ug labi na sa 100 years old nagpasabot nga likely they have a disciplined lifestyle and are being taken cared of sa ilang pamilya. That is a good example for the young …aron maghandom pod sila og taas nga kinabuhi,” she said.

Rep. Daphne, on the other hand, said that they sponsored the amending law because while she and her husband saw that RA 10868 as good, only few Filipinos would reach 100 years old. In fact, she said, the average life expectancy of a Filipino is only 69.3 years old.

“Nindot and balaud apan pipila lang ang makatagamtam kay pipila ra gyud tawon ang swerte nga makaabot sa edad nga usa ka gatos. Ug kung makaabot man gani nianang edara, dili na ma-appreciate sa hingtungdan. To be honest, more than ninety percent of Filipinos will not live that long to appreciate society’s appreciation. Unsaon man ang sagbot kung patay na ang kabayo?” read her and Rep. Sonny’s joint statement reads.

Because of this, the spouses filed House Bill 3949, which supposedly gives P80,000 to all those who reached the age of 80 years old.

“Kay kung mao kining mga panahona nga kita magkinahanglan og igong kantidad aron ikapalit og tambal, vitamins, gatas ug uban pang mga panginahanglanon. Mao kining mga panahona nga kasagaran suki nas ospital ang mga katiguwangan,” the Lagon couple said.

HB 3949, however, was consolidated with similar bills of the same tenor and Congress also looked at the huge amount that would be spent for the senior citizens’ benefits, considering that the government has still to spend for other projects and programs.

Thus, both Senate and the House of Representatives approved a new version, which is now RA 11982, or “An Act Granting benefits to Filipino octogenarians and nonagenarians, amending for the purpose of Republic Act No. 10868, otherwise known as the Centernarians Act of 2016, and appropriating funds therefor”.

“Nakita namo ni Cong. Sonny nga makiangayon usab kini nga paagi mao nga niuyon sab mi ug karon dako namong kalipay nga nakatampo kami aron mas mapalig-on pa ang atong balaod nga naghatag og insentibo sa atong mga katiguwangan isip pag-ila sa ilang mga natampo sa kalamboan sa katilingban niadtong panahon nga sila lig-on pa’g panglawas ug sila ang nagpadagan sa mga industriya, Negosyo, ug mga serbisyo nga nakahatag og panginabuhian sa katilingbang Pilipinhon,” said the Lagon couple.

“We believe that the incentives provided under RA 11982 are just and appropriate to show society’s admiration ang appreciation for the invaluable contributions of our senior citizens to nation building during the most productive years in their lives,” they added.

Rep. Daphne said this was her first bill that became a national law, after President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.  signed it yesterday.

Meanwhile, Lapu-Lapu City Lone District Representative Cindi King-Chan was also among those who signed in favor of RA 11982.

She expressed her honor “in witnessing these significant legislative milestones that will undoubtedly benefit the Filipino people as this further fueled her dedication to formulating laws for the continual betterment of the country.” — (FREEMAN)

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