The Commission on Human Rights has welcomed the enactment of Republic Act (RA) No. 11916 or the Social Pension for Indigent Seniors Act, which increases the pension of qualified senior citizens to P1,000 from P500.
According to the CHR, it celebrates this important legislative development that assures elderly of their right to adequate standard of living and participation.
In addition, the law also allows the adjustment of the amount every two years depending on the needs of the stakeholders and the approval of the Department of Budget and Management.
“This will help indigent older persons to better afford basic necessities and sustenance for their health and well-being amid inevitable economic changes,” CHR Executive Director Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia said.
Under the law, tax incentives will also be given to employers that hire capable senior citizens, which increases their chance of employment and helps to address workplace discrimination towards their age group.
More than a decade has passed since the enactment of Republic Act (RA) No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizen Act of 2010, which mandates the monthly distribution of PhP500 subsidy for indigent seniors.
“The PhP500 social pension has declined in value throughout the years, especially now that we are facing price hikes amid the 6.4% recorded inflation rate in the country last July 2022. The global COVID-19 pandemic has also made our senior citizens even more vulnerable to mortality and complications,” De Guia noted.
On 30 July 2022, Republic Act (RA) No. 11916 or the Social Pension for Indigent Seniors Act lapsed into law.
“It is the obligation of the State to guarantee that all senior citizens in the country are living a dignified life. The passage of this law is a concrete way to honor the contributions of the elderly persons in our society. Easing their financial concerns helps to lighten their practical daily life so they may better enjoy their advance years,” she added.
CHR hopes for the efficient, transparent, and swift execution of the law for immediate economic relief all eligible beneficiaries, especially the impoverished elderly people. The Commission will also continue to work closely with related government offices in advocating for and monitoring the uninterrupted exercise of rights by the elderly.