The Senate has approved this Monday, May 23 on its third and final reading Senate Bill No. 449 (Centenarians Act of 2013) that would require every locality to give P100,000 cash incentives to centenarians, or people who are 100 years old and above. The said bill was sponsored by Sen. Nancy Binay, and co-sponsored by Sen. Ralph Recto.
“The proposed measure is the Senate’s way of recognizing the country’s centenarians, who have reached the milestone age of one hundred years old, often through clean and responsible living. They are good examples for our people, and help encourage a healthier lifestyle among our citizenry,” Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said.
“We have a culture of taking care and providing for our elders. It is somewhat a voluntary obligation imposed on oneself. Let us keep this unique Filipino trait of taking care of our elderly by honoring our centenarians,” Sen. Binay said in her sponsorship speech, who is also the chairperson of the Committee of Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development.
Binay’s bill also seeks to declare every September 25th of the year as “National Respect for Centenarians Day.” The lady senator noted that data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that life expectancy of Filipinos is 65 years for male, and 72 years for female. This is close to the data of the National Statistical Coordination Board Fact Sheet.
As of 2015, there were 3,533 Filipino centenarians based on the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) data. Once the bill becomes a law, centenarians shall receive a plaque of recognition on their 100th birthday along with the P100K cash incentive by the city or town, and a letter of felicitation from the President of the Philippines.
Centenarians living outside the Philippines are also covered. In case the centenarian passes away, a posthumous plaque of recognition shall be presented to the nearest surviving relative. Funds needed for the first year of implementation will come from the leftover budget of the DSWD and the respective local government units (LGUs).
This Centenarians Act was approved by House of Representatives back in June 2015, with House Bill 5780 authored by Reps. Rogelio Espina (Biliran), Marcelino Teodoro (Marikina City), and Edcel Lagman (Albay). The said bill also mandates the National Coordinating and Monitoring Board, to make sure that there will be enough budget.