THE MONTHLY social pension of indigent senior citizens will soon increase to P1,000 from P500 as the approved bill on additional benefits for those at least 60 years old lapsed into law on July 30, according to a letter sent by the Presidential Palace to the Senate.
Republic Act (RA) 11916, which amends RA 7432, also encourages the hiring of seniors through a tax incentive to employers.
It provides that private entities that will employ senior citizens will be entitled to an additional deduction from their gross income equivalent to 15% of the total cost of salaries and wages to seniors employed for at least half a year.
“The increase in the pension of indigent senior citizens is a timely response to catch up with the urgent and real needs of our indigent elderly,” Senator Mary Grace S. Poe-Llamanzares, primary author of the bill, said in a statement on Tuesday.
Under the new law, indigent senior citizen refers to “any elderly who is frail, sickly or with disability, and without pension or permanent source of income, compensation or financial assistance from his or her relatives to support his or her basic needs, as determined by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in consultation with the National Coordinating and Monitoring Board.”
The law also provides additional social safety assistance to seniors to cushion the effects of economic shocks and disasters, to be sourced from calamity funds of local governments.
There are about 4.1 million indigent seniors, according to DSWD data.
The implementation, distribution and management of the social pension will be transferred from the DSWD to the National Commission of Senior Citizens within three years from the effectivity of the law. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan