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Higher pension for senior citizens could be enforced by 2023: NCSC

A senior citizen receives cash assistance from the DSWD

MANILA—The National Commission on Senior Citizens (NCSC) on Thursday announced that the increase in the monthly social pension of indigent senior citizens could be enforced starting January 2023.

During the Laging Handa public briefing, NCSC chairperson Franklin Quijano said Congress would first have to approve the budgetary requirement for the new law, which raises the monthly social pension of indigent senior citizens from P500 to P1,000.

“The effectivity is in 2023 because we are in the middle of the year, and this cannot be released immediately, especially if we do not yet have a budget. If it will be released, there should be a budgetary process, which Congress will have to approve,” Quijano said.

“We can see that the time where it would be implemented would be in January of 2023. Hopefully, keeping our fingers crossed that the budget will be approved for 2023.”

Quijano expressed confidence that the new law would receive sufficient funding support.

Earlier, House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto pointed out that doubling the monthly pension would mean that the budgetary requirement would also double from P25 billion to P50 billion.

“I’m confident that from the assurances of the different government agencies, including the Department of Finance that this will receive funding. But it really will depend on our legislative mill,” Quijano said.

He said once Congress provides the budgetary requirement for the law, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) would adjust the amount of social pension.

“This has already been approved and it is Congress that will be able to give the necessary funding support. Of course, DBM will make the necessary adjustments, because the National Expenditure Program has been passed and this new law that has been passed must be taken into consideration after the National Expenditure Program,” he added.

Quijano said the NCSC is preparing to promulgate the implementing rules and regulations of the law in consultation with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), DBM, and other concerned government agencies and nongovernment organizations, as well as people’s organizations.

The NCSC will be in charge of the implementation, distribution and management of the monthly pension, instead of the DSWD.

“We are preparing and the readiness is also defined in terms of the transition. The work right now is in the hands of the DSWD and our memorandum of agreement says that this readiness also has a timeline,” he said.

Republic Act 11916, which lapsed into law on July 30, is expected to benefit more than 4  million indigent senior citizens.

The new law also encourages the hiring of senior citizens through a tax incentive to employers. PNA

Image credits: PNA



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