More than 12,000 centenarians nationwide have been recognized and provided with incentives under Republic Act 10868, or the Centenarians Act, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced on Tuesday.
Assistant Secretary Romel Lopez said that from 2017 until September of this year, DSWD has extended its recognition to 12,186 Filipinos who have reached the remarkable milestone of 100 years and beyond. This tribute is in line with the implementation of the Centenarian Program, as mandated by Republic Act No. 10868, also known as the Centenarians Act of 2016.
The Centenarian Program ensures that centenarians, whether residing in the country or abroad, are rewarded with a cash incentive of P100,000 and a heartfelt letter of felicitation signed by the President of the Philippines, congratulating them for their remarkable longevity.
In addition to the monetary gift, the DSWD presents a posthumous plaque of recognition for a centenarian who has passed away, which can be received by their nearest surviving relative.
“The Centenarian Program represents our respect for our elderly and acknowledges the invaluable contributions they have made to society over the decades,” the DSWD spokesperson said.
Lopez reiterated the eligibility requirements under the law, stating that the relatives of centenarians must submit primary documents such as the birth certificate and Philippine passport to the City or Municipal Social Welfare Office and/or to the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) in their localities.
In cases where these two primary identification documents are not available, any of the primary Identification Cards issued by OSCA, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and Social Security System (SSS); driver’s license; Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) license; and Commission on Elections (Comelec) Voter’s ID is accepted as valid documentation.
“In cases where the said identification documents are not available, the centenarian or their family members can submit any secondary documents such as marriage certificates and birth certificates of a child borne by the centenarian, among others,” Lopez explained.
Lopez said the agency will closely coordinate with the local government units (LGUs) and the National Commission on Senior Citizens (NCSC) to improve the planning and budgeting for more effective implementation of the law, in pursuit of honoring the contributions of the centenarians in nation-building.
Image credits: Taguig PIO