P1M ‘too much’ for centenarians

AN OFFICIAL of the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (Osca) in Mandaue City has questioned the newly approved measure that will increase the cash gift of Filipino centenarians from P100,000 to P1 million, stressing the recipients would no longer benefit from it.

In an interview with SunStar Cebu on May 10, 2023, Mandaue City Osca head Diosdado Suico claimed the current P100,000 cash gift is enough because it is not the centenarians who often end up with the money but their kin.

Suico said there are instances where the beneficiary passes away before receiving the financial aid because of delays in processing the cash assistance.

“Dili na makapahimulos ang centenarian tungod kay dunay mga centenarians nga bag-o pa lang nakadawat nipahulay na. Ang uban gani kon malangan ang paghitsas sa papeles, dili na makahikap sa salapi alang kaniya. Kini sa ako lang panghuna-huna kay milyon na man gud ang gihisgutan,” said Suico.

(The centenarians can no longer enjoy the money because some die shortly after receiving it; some of them are even unable to touch the money due to delayed paperwork. This is just my opinion because it already involves millions.)

“And I am going to question the wisdom of the lawmakers,” he explained.

Last May 8, the House of Representatives approved House Bill 7535 on the third and final reading to increase the cash gift for people who reach the age of 101, including those living abroad, from P100,000 to P1 million.

Additionally, Filipinos aged 80 and 85 (octogenarians) and 90 and 95 (nonagenarians) would also be given P25,000 and 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 will also amend Republic Act 10868 or the Centenarians Act of 2016, which gives a P100,000 cash grant to centenarians.

Mandaue City has around 24,000 senior citizens registered under Osca as of April 2023.