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Solon wants to increase senior pensions fully funded.

On Thursday, a party-list senator urged Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman to fully pay the higher pension for elderly people who are in need in the 2024 proposed budget.

Representative Rodolfo Ordanes of the Senior Citizens party list claimed that because the 2023 national budget only includes PHP500, the full implementation of the 100% increase in pension from PHP500 to PHP1,000 per month that was provided by Republic Act 11916 when it became law on July 30, 2022, will not be possible.

“Our effort to fully fund and implement Republic Act 11916, which increases the monthly social stipend for elderly people who are poor from PHP500 to PHP1,000, continues,” Ordanes added. “We restart our fight for the PHP1,000 social pension by pleading with Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman to fully finance RA 11916 in the coming budget, the 2024 budget, the creation of which will start as soon as DBM issues its budget call for the cycle ending in 2024.”

Given the several high priorities for funding, he pointed out that RA 11916 was only signed into law a few weeks before the 2023 budget was presented to Congress, “severely decreasing the likelihood” that it would be included.

Even though we gave it our all last year to promote the PHP1,000 destitute seniors’ social pension, he said that it was insufficient.

A supplemental budget is a possibility, but, according to him, it would depend on if real revenue in 2023 exceeds projections, opening up money for further social pension spending.

However, he added, “if my House colleagues are prepared to consider the supplementary budget option in the next weeks and months, I am willing to pursue this path for the sake of senior folks across the country, despite its remote likelihood of success.

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