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CHR supports legislation to help poor elders and poll workers.

MANILA, Philippines — The adoption of proposals seeking to increase the monthly pension of destitute older residents and offer income tax exemption to poll workers, according to the head of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), will alleviate the suffering of the disadvantaged sectors.

The proposed changes would assist reduce financial restrictions among disadvantaged people, according to CHR Executive Director Jacqueline Ann de Guia, resulting in the commission’s “strong support” for Senate Bills 2506 and 2530, which were approved by the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The House passed a bill that would increase the social stipend of poor senior persons from PHP500 to PHP1,000.

It also passed a law exempting honoraria, allowances, and other financial advantages obtained by teachers who voted in the recent May 9 elections from income tax.

On Monday, the Senate passed both proposed bills.

“Once signed into law, the aforementioned plan is projected to assist poor senior persons with financial concerns while also concretely honoring the hard work of poll watchers,” de Guia added.

“As the prices of products and medicines continue to grow, CHR feels that this approach will offer the elderly with a more sustainable allowance.”

She applauded the approval of Senate Bill 2506, which “demonstrate[s] respect for the elderly’s rights” and respects their “rights to a dignified aging.”

Within three years of taking effect, the proposed law moves the distribution of the monthly payment from the Department of Social Welfare and Development to the National Commission on Senior Citizens.

“The tax exemption for teacher-poll observers is also appreciated by CHR since it provides a practical incentive to thank their work and sacrifice during this critical election period.” “It’s a well-deserved reward for their dedication to preserving our freedom to vote,” she remarked.

According to De Guia, the proposed measure exemplifies Article II, Section 9 of the Constitution by enacting legislation that will enable everyone to live a better life.

“It’s also in line with the Constitution’s social justice and human rights provisions, which require the government to improve the lives of ordinary people in order to ensure equity,” she added.

Given the escalating cost of goods and services, the CHR advocated for “quick passage” of the proposed measures to “guarantee that poor elderly and poll workers” can immediately benefit from the benefits.

“We anticipate comparable equal efforts to ameliorate the plight of vulnerable sectors,” added de Guia.

Both bills are currently awaiting President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature and assent.

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