Jan 292013

A bill giving P100,000 each to Filipinos who reach the age of 100 is just a few steps away from becoming a law after the Senate adopted the House version of the measure.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, author of House Bill 834 or the “Centenerians Bill,” said the Senate adopted his version of the proposed legislation on Monday afternoon with minor amendments.

The bill entitles Filipino citizens who reached and will reach the age of 100 to a P100,000 cash gift, as well as a letter of felicitation from the President congratulating the centenarian for his or her longevity.

Lagman said his measure seeks to laud centenarians for their “achievement and distinction” of living to be 100, especially at a time when the average life expectancy in the Philippines is pegged at 71 years.

The census conducted by the National Statistics Office in 2010 showed there are around 8,000 centenarians living in the Philippines.

Aside from the cash gift, the bill also grants a 75-percent discount on goods and services to centenarians. Lagman initially suggested a 50-percent discount, but the Senate raised the entitlement to the current rate.

The measure also proposes the creation of a national committee, headed by the executive secretary, which will validate the true birth year of a centenarian applicant and which will ensure the release of the cash gift within 30 days of the validation.

The bill will now have to be ratified by both chambers of Congress before it is forwarded to Malacañang for the President’s signature. — Andreo Calonzo/RSJ, GMA News

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