Tell it to SunStar: An appeal to improve senior citizens’ welfare

Philippine Association of Retired Persons
·2 min read

To President Duterte, honorable senators and representatives, Social Security System commissioners, Government Service Insurance System trustees:

This open letter-appeal voices the sentiments, requests, and suggestions of the senior sector of the Filipino population.

Our group, the Philippine Association of Retired Persons Inc. (PARP Inc.) is composed of elderly citizens who have contributed to the growth of our country through our blood, sweat, and tears. In short, we have paid our dues to Philippine society.

At this stage of our fast-fading years, we still would like to continue contributing to the country’s efforts for all segments of society. Allow us, therefore, to voice the following:

A. Appreciation

We appreciate the care and concern of President Duterte when he authorized the issuance of the memorandum of the executive secretary that granted a P1,000 increase in the pension of SSS pensioners in February 2017.

We appreciate the care and concern of some local government units that granted financial assistance to seniors.

We appreciate the enactment of Republic Act No. 11199, or the Social Security System Act of 2018, which provides a further increase in SSS pension subject to the decision of the Commission and upon certification by the Chief Actuary that the financial stability of the SSS will not be impaired.

We appreciate the care of the government for seniors as evidenced by rules that favor the welfare of seniors.

We appreciate, most especially, the enactment of the National Commission for Senior Citizens.

B. Suggestions

Seniors and retirees from government and the private sector have accumulated tremendous knowledge, capacity, and experience that government can tap to assist the concerned government offices in preparing welfare programs for seniors. Seniors know best their needs and therefore can plan better for their needs.

Seniors can assist in the field of legislation, as in the case of the National Commission for Senior Citizens.

PARP founder and former president Amado F. Cabaero Sr. suggested as early as 2015 that the SSS should set aside 30 percent of its earnings from investments for pension increase, which can be programmed periodically.

We reiterate the above suggestion that a certain percentage of income from investments be reserved for pension increases.

We suggest that bills approved by Congress already specify the source of funds and not defer the source to be identified later.

We suggest that seniors be represented in the Board of Trustees of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Board of Commissioners of the Social Security System (SSS), and Board of Directors of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

C. Appeal

Finally, we seniors appeal for more assistance, health- and financial-wise, to make our march into the sunset more pleasant and comfortable.

Roberto B. Cabaero, president - national executive board

Climaco E. Caliwara, vice president - internal

Vivian G. Borromeo, treasurer

Atty. Mafeo R. Vibal, vice president - external

Dr. Corazon B. Canete, public relations officer

Maria Gracia C. Ferreros, secretary

Jose R. Gapas, auditor