March 5, 2024

The bill that seeks to expand the benefits of centenarians to senior citizens is expected to become a law soon.

House Bill 7535, a bill expanding centenarian benefits to seniors aged 80, 85, 90, and 95, has been approved by the Bicameral Conference Committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives this month.

Baguio Rep. Mark Go, one of the bill’s principal authors, said on Dec. 23 the landmark bill is awaiting the approval of Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The House members who signed the bicam report were led by the chairperson of the Committee on Senior Citizens, Rep. Ompong Ordañes.

Currently, seniors who reach the age of 100 receive a cash gift of P100,000. Once passed into law, Go said senior citizens who turn 80, 85, 90, and 95 will also receive a letter of felicitation from the president and a cash gift of P10,000. 

Go said the bill is a manifestation of his commitment to support seniors and pass laws that will uplift their standard of living.

Ito ay ang ating pasasalamat sa kanilang naibigay sa pagpapatatag ng ating bayan at pagpapalakas ng pamilyang Pilipino,” he said.

The Baguio representative also earlier passed a resolution urging the Department of Health to discontinue the implementation of the purchase book as a requirement when senior citizens avail of the 20 percent discount for medicines and related goods.

The DOH earlier issued administrative orders providing the guidelines to implement the discount and other health-related goods and services, stating the purchase booklet is one of the mandatory documentary requirements that a senior citizen shall present to avail of the discount. Go said there is an urgent need to clarify the guidelines and to discontinue its implementation to prevent further burden to the senior citizens. – Hanna C. Lacsamana