Former Deputy Speaker and Buhay Party-list Representative Lito Atienza on Tuesday said the passage of a bill granting additional benefits to Filipino centenarians, granting P1 million to those reaching 101 years old, would encourage and give the families of our senior citizens the means to continue taking care of their beloved lolos and lolas.
Atienza said this proposal would strengthen traditional Filipino family values of caring for the elderly.
“We welcome the passing on third reading of House Bill No. 7535, which includes our pet bill, ‘Pilipino Milyonaryo’ that we introduced in the 18th Congress—to grant P1 million to centenarians reaching 101 years old,” he said.
“Our Filipino culture is distinct in our respect and care for the elderly. While in other cultures, senior citizens are sent off to nursing homes instead of being cared for by their own families, we take care of our elderly and give them the respect, love and attention they deserve. Our seniors have worked hard and have given their contribution to our community and to our country, that’s why they should be given the importance they rightfully deserve,” Atienza said.
“I also thank the present members of Congress for following through what we have initiated and started. We shall continue working with them, together with the Senate and if necessary President Bongbong Marcos, to make it a reality,” Atienza added.
With an overwhelming 257 votes, the chamber approved HB 7535, which seeks to grant P1 million to Filipinos who reach 101 years old, whether living here or abroad, and P25,000 to Filipinos who reach the age of 80 and 85 (octogenarians), and 90 and 95 (nonagenarians). All of them will also receive a letter of felicitation from the President of the Philippines.
The bill mandates the National Commission of Senior Citizens to implement the measure once passed into law.
It also seeks to amend Republic Act No. 10868 or the Centenarians Act of 2016, which entitles all Filipinos who reach 100 years old and above with a cash gift of P100,000.
Two in every 100,000 Filipinos are centenarians as of 2020, and majority of them are women, according to a BusinessMirror report, citing data from a UK-based care home marketplace.
In a House committee hearing last year, then Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Erwin Tulfo reported that there are 662 Filipino centenarians in the country.