Underprivileged senior citizens will get a P1,000 monthly allowance and loan grants of up to P20,000 once a bill authored by Rep. Antonio Lagdameo Jr. of the National Unity Party (NUP) is passed into law.
Lagdameo (2nd district, Davao del Norte) has vowed to refile House Bill 1859 under the 16th Congress to help senior citizens living within the poverty threshold get the care and support they need in their twilight years.
His proposed Senior Citizens Financial Assistance Act as spelled out under HB 1859 mandates the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to issue an identification card to enable qualified senior citizens to claim their monthly financial assistance and assist them in their application for loans.
"The benefits provided under this measure will help alleviate living conditions of our elderly who for having offered their best years for this country deserve all the necessary assistance during their twilight years," Lagdameo said.
A senior citizen can qualify as a beneficiary under Lagdameo’s proposal if he or she is a Filipino citizen, 60 years of age or older, unemployed and has no other source of income or relatives capable of giving support, without adequate means of subsistence, and within the poverty threshold as determined by the DSWD.
"It is the policy of the State to adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to social development which shall make essential goods, health and other social services affordable and accessible to all," Lagdameo said.
"There shall be priority for the needs of the underprivileged, sick, disabled, women, children and the elderly," he noted.
Lagdameo’s proposed law complements Republic Act 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act. RA 9994 grants, among others, a 20 percent discount to the elderly on various goods and services. These include the purchase of medicines; professional fees of attending physicians; professional fees of licensed professional health providing home health care services as endorsed by private hospitals or employed through home health care employment agencies; medical and dental services, diagnostic and laboratory fees in all private hospitals, medical facilities, outpatient clinics, and home health care services; and actual fare for land transportation travel in all forms of public transport and domestic air and sea shipping services.