Appeal to PBBM: Use unprogrammed funds to increase indigent seniors’ pension

Senior Citizens party-list Rep. Rodolfo Ordanes

A party-list lawmaker advocating for senior citizens’ rights on Friday appealed to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and the Budget Department to utilize the unprogrammed funds in the proposed 2023 national budget to finance the monthly social pension hike of indigent senior citizens.

“Please have mercy on over four million indigent seniors who have suffered for too long and given the best years of their lives for their families and country. The Unprogrammed Funds are the indigent seniors’ and centenarians’ last hope because those funds are a matter of survival and life-or-death for some,” Senior Citizens party-list Rep. Rodolfo Ordanes said in a statement.

The congressman emphasized that the monthly pension hike from P500 to P1,000 would only entail approximately P25,768,665,000 under Republic Act 11916, and about P70.4 million is needed for 704 unfunded cash grants for waitlisted centenarians.

Ordanes said P26.474 billion is only 4.5 percent of the P588.162 billion unprogrammed funds in the proposed 2023 national budget.

He urged his fellow lawmakers to make good on the commitments made in the Centenarians Act and Republic Act 11916.

Republic Act no. 11916 or the Social Pension for Indigent Seniors Act lapsed into law on 30 July 2022, doubling the monthly pension for indigent senior citizens from the current P500 to P1,000 per senior indigent.

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