Prioritize centenarians’ cash incentives, Lagman tells Tulfo
We requested this from the DBM, but it was not granted. We have already informed them that we have 662 waitlisted centenarians waiting for the payment
Opposition lawmaker Edcel Lagman has advised Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo not to wait anymore for the enactment of the 2023 budget but instead take immediate action to fund the P66.2 million lacking allocation for centenarians.
Lagman made the remark after Tulfo disclosed that the P66.2 million budget for the cash gift of 662 million centenarians is unfunded under the proposed national budget.
“Why are they waitlisted? They should not be waitlisted because by the time the benefits they are looking for are available, they may not be here with us anymore,” said Lagman, the principal author of the Filipino Centenarians law.
“You should not wait for the enactment of the 2023 budget in order to fund the required P66.2 million. You should check with a contingent fund,” the veteran solon added
The contingency fund is estimated to be worth P13 billion under the P5.2 trillion projected budget for 2023, which will address the funding needs of new or urgent activities or projects of national government agencies, local government units, and government-owned and controlled corporations that must be implemented during the fiscal year.
Tulfo, for his part, disclosed during a panel hearing that their request for funds for the Centenarians Act, which entitled a Filipino citizen who reached 100 years old and above to a P100,000 tax-free cash gift from the national government, was not granted by the Department of Budget and Management.
“We requested this from the DBM, but it was not granted. We have already informed them that we have 662 waitlisted centenarians waiting for the payment,” Tulfo said.
He said that he agreed with Lagman that funding the Centenarians law and the hike in a social pension was urgent as he appealed to the lower chamber to allocate funds for it.
Tulfo added that other unfunded items under DSWD include the P25 billion budget for implementing the P500 social pension hike for indigent senior citizens and P2.5 billion for the supplementary feeding program for hot meals of P1.7 million children and milk for 157,968 children.
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