The National Commission on Senior Citizens (NCSC) announced that the increase in the monthly social pension of indigent senior citizens could be enforced starting January 2023.
NCSC chairperson Franklin Quijano said Congress would first have to approve the budgetary requirement for the new law, which raises the monthly social pension of indigent senior citizens from P500 to P1,000.
“Ang effectivity natin is sa 2023 kasi we are in the middle of the year, eh hindi naman pwedeng lumabas kaagad iyong pera kung walang budget.”
“Ang effectivity natin is sa 2023 kasi we are in the middle of the year, eh hindi naman pwedeng lumabas kaagad iyong pera kung walang budget. At kung maipapalabas naman, dapat may budgetary process iyan, which Congress will have to approve,” Quijano said.
“Nakikita po natin na ang time where it would be effective would be January of 2023. Hopefully, keeping our fingers crossed na ma-approve ng ating legislative mill iyong budget ng 2023,” he added.
Quijano expressed confidence that the new law would receive sufficient funding support.
House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto pointed out that doubling the monthly pension would mean that the budgetary requirement would also double from P25 billion to P50 billion.
“I’m confident that from the assurances of the different government agencies, including the Department of Finance ay mapupondohan po ito. But it really will depend on our legislative mill,” Quijano said.
He said once Congress provides the budgetary requirement for the law, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) would adjust the amount of social pension.
“Na-approve na ito and it is Congress which will be able to give the necessary funding support.”
“Na-approve na ito and it is Congress which will be able to give the necessary funding support. Of course, DBM will make the necessary adjustments, kasi napasa na po iyong National Expenditure Program at kailangang i-take into consideration after the National Expenditure Program itong bagong batas na naipasa,” Quijano added.
He said the NCSC is preparing to promulgate the implementing rules and regulations of the law in consultation with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), DBM, and other concerned government agencies and non-government organizations, as well as people’s organizations.
The NCSC will be in charge of the implementation, distribution, and management of the monthly pension, instead of the DSWD.
“We are preparing and the readiness is also defined in terms of the transition. Ang trabaho ngayon ay nasa DSWD pa lang and our memorandum of agreement says that iyong readiness na iyan ay may timeline,” he said.
Republic Act 11916, which lapsed into law on July 30, is expected to benefit more than four million indigent senior citizens.
The new law also encourages the hiring of senior citizens through a tax incentive to employers.