THE PARTY-LIST representing senior citizens in Congress is seeking concrete plans from presidential and vice-presidential candidates in the May elections on how to improve the country’s elderly care system. 

“What the Senior Citizen Party-list wants to hear from all the presidential and vice-presidential candidates is their detailed agenda to protect seniors from abuse,” Senior Citizens Rep. Rodolfo M. Ordanes said in a statement on Thursday, referring in particular to pension funds.

He cited that there are pending bills intended to protect retirees from falling victim to “loan sharks and lending firms,” who take advantage of the pension distributed by the Social Service System and the Government Service Insurance System.

Mr. Ordanes also said there should be a bigger allocation for senior citizens in the annual national budget. 

“There are mandated budget shares for the youth and GAD (gender and development), but not the same for seniors,” he said. 

The Department of Social Welfare and Development is given a fund for a P500 monthly social pension for every qualified indigent senior, distributed on a quarterly basis. 

Mr. Ordanes said the pending bill that will double the social pension amount to P1,000, which is supported by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, will likely be passed before the Duterte administration and the current Congress steps down on June 30. — Jaspearl Emerald G. Tan 

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