Leni Vows To Double Senior Citizens’ Monthly Stipend
Vice President Leni Robredo said should she win the presidency, the senior citizens’ monthly allowance will become P1,000 and progressively increase.
Vice President Leni Robredo vowed on Monday, Feb. 21, to double the monthly stipend being received by indigent senior citizens from the national government and expand the program to include all elderly Filipinos if she wins the presidency.
From the present stipend of P500 as mandated by Republic Act No. 9994 or Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, Robredo said her administration will increase it to P1,000, which is a more realistic amount to cover the daily expenses of senior citizens that include their basic medicines.
This amount, she said, will progressively increase.
Robredo added of the P202.5 billion budget for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for 2022, a total of P25 billion is earmarked for the P500 monthly stipend for indigent senior citizens.
Robredo noted she intends to increase the funding to at least P50 billion in the first year of her presidency without resorting to the imposition of new taxes.
“We can achieve this by implementing a more rational way of spending the people’s money. We must rethink the non-essential expenses such as travel, seminars, vehicle acquisition, and the representation allowance given to government officials,” Robredo said in a statement.
“We will encourage sacrifice on the part of everyone in the bureaucracy, starting with the Office of the President, to raise funds for important programs,” she stressed.
Among the expense items in the government’s annual spending program on which savings could be mandated are travel, for which P19.6 billion is allocated, trainings (P39.5 billion), supplies and materials (P167.7 billion), and professional services or the hiring of consultants (P48.5 billion), Robredo said.
In proposing to include all senior citizens in the financial assistance program, the Vice President said many elderly retirees are receiving small amounts of pension from the Social Security System and the Government Service Insurance System.
“They too need help from the government. The monthly stipend from the national government would augment their pension,” she said.
Robredo said more funds must be allocated for the financial assistance for more than five million elderly Filipinos than for the hiring of consultants.
“Clearly, there is a lot of room in the national budget to generate funds for programs like doubling the monthly stipend of senior citizens,” she said.