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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Arroyo pushes more perks for senior citizens

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Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Tuesday hoped the new law providing more benefits to senior citizens would soon be enacted.

Arroyo made the statement as she thanked the Senate for adopting the version of the House of Representatives on a bill strengthening the rights of senior citizens.

Arroyo said she was deeply grateful that the Senate had unanimously adopted the measure under House Bill 8837 which creates the National Commission of Senior Citizens.

Arroyo was one of the principal authors of the said bill. It was approved on third reading by the House last Jan. 29, 2019 with 175 approval and no objection and abstention.

“With this bill, there will be one agency, the NCSC, which will be responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies, plans and programs for our senior citizens,” Arroyo said.

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“I would like to commend our congressmen particularly Rep. Francisco Datol (of Senior Citizens party-list) for actively pushing for it. I am glad that the Senate has adopted our measure. This will ensure better delivery of services to all our senior citizens,” Arroyo said.

It was also during her presidency that two of the pioneering laws on the rights of senior citizens were passed—the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003 [RA 9257] and the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 (RA 9994). 

Both laws granted to senior citizens discounts of 20 percent on goods and services, social pension to indigent elderly, mandatory PhilHealth coverage, death benefit assistance, express lanes, educational privileges, tax deductions, among others.

Under the proposed law, all matters pertaining to senior citizens shall be under the NCSC which will ensure the effective implementation of various programs and services for senior citizens and establish a community-based health and rehabilitation, educational and socioeconomic programs for the elderly.

The NCSC will replace the National Coordinating and Monitoring Board created under the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010. 

It will be composed of a Chairperson and six Commissioners acting as a collegial body. 

The six Commissioners shall represent different geographical regions of the Philippines and shall hold office in their respective regions.

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