Tell it to SunStar: Funding the indigent seniors social pension

Our quest continues for full funding and implementation of Republic Act (RA) 11916, which raises the indigent seniors monthly social pension from P500 to P1,000.

Sadly, the 2023 General Appropriations Act covers only P500.

We renew our campaign for the P1,000 social pension by appealing to Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman to include full funding of RA 11916 in the next budget, the 2024 budget the formulation of which will begin shortly after the Department of Budget and Management issues its budget call for the 2024 cycle.

RA 11916 became law mere weeks before the 2023 budget was submitted to Congress, severely reducing the chances of it being included into the budget given the many high priorities for funding.

We tried our best last year to push for the P1,000 indigent seniors social pension but even our best was not enough.

Although asking for a supplemental budget is a possibility, this would be contingent on whether actual revenues in 2023 exceed expectations, making funds available for added funding to the social pension. But if my colleagues in the House would be open to the supplemental budget option in the coming weeks and months, I am willing to try this path for the sake of senior citizens nationwide, despite its slim chances of happening.