call for universal pensions in the Philippines

Senator Grace Poe has filed a Bill to provide all citizens aged 60 years and older a monthly pension of P1,500 (US$29).

In the absence of employment, she said senior citizens rely on other sources of income such as assistance from their children, or on contributory pension from the Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

“However, these sources are not enough,” Poe said. “Contributory pensions are often limited in their coverage … and receipt of contributory pension is not a guarantee of income security,” she noted.

Poe also cited a 2017 study which found that over 70 percent of the economically-active population are not contributing to pension.

[With the current social pension], only indigent senior citizens are entitled to a monthly stipend of P500 [less than 10 US dollars] to augment their daily subsistence and medical needs.

Vanne Elaine Terrazola, “Poe proposes universal social pension for seniors“, Manila Bulletin, 31 March 2018.

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