Press Release
January 15, 2019

Bam: Increase social pension of senior citizens

Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino is pushing for an increase in the social pension of senior citizens and expand its coverage to include more than 3 million senior citizens who are not receiving any pension at all.

Aquino, in his Senate Bill 2142, seeks to amend provisions in the Republic Act 7432, as amended by RA 9257 and further amended by RA 9994 or the "Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010."

"Our senior citizens have broadly contributed to the development of our nation. It is time for us to return their sacrifices by ensuring that they are cared for in their old age," Aquino said in his explanatory note.

Quoting a study conducted by the Coalition of Services of the Elderly (COSE), Aquino noted that social pension constituted on average almost one-third of household income used for food, medical expenses and other household bills.

"Unfortunately, based also on the same study, of eight million senior citizens in the country, only 32 percent (or 2.5 million) received social pension of only P500 a month, while 38 percent (or more than 3 million) do not receive any pension at all," the senator said.

Among the 1.5 million Social Security System pensioners, less than half receives not more than P3,400 a month, he added.

With no or inadequate pension, Aquino said many senior citizens are forced to rely on the modest incomes of their families who are also struggling to make a living.

In his proposed measure, Aquino seeks to mandate the government to provide monthly social pension of P1,000 to all senior citizens who do not have social pension or receive less than P3,000 monthly pension.

"When older people receive a pension, they have a say in how they spend their income. This allows much greater agency, autonomy and dignity than when they have to depend on others for their need," Aquino said.

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