Ako Bicol solon optimistic of Universal Social Pension Bill passage

LEGAZPI CITY -- AKO Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin expressed optimism that the Universal Social Pension (USP) Bill would be passed into law.

Garbin last year filed the proposed measure, which seeks to amend Republic Act 9257, the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003 as amended by Republic Act 9994, otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act 2010.

In an interview on Wednesday, he said this January, the House of Representatives would tackle in the plenary the proposed measure that will increase the social pension of senior citizens from PHP500 to PHP1,000, as well as expand its coverage.

Garbin told officers and members of the Organization of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) - Legazpi City chapter during a gathering that the Coalition Services of the Elderly, Inc. (COSE) supports the passage of the USP Bill that will increase the financial benefits the elderly are receiving from the national government.

He pledged not to waste time in pushing for the passage of the bill until it becomes a law, noting that it is one of the legislative priorities of President Rodrigo Duterte.

In the House version of the USP Bill, not only the indigent senior citizens but all Filipinos aged 60 years old and above, including those receiving pensions from the Government Service Insurance System, Social Security System or other government pensions, will also be covered, Garbin said.

Once the USP Bill is passed into law, the national government needs PHP100 billion annually to cover the almost 8.7 million senior citizens, he added. (PNA)