Bill to honor Pinoy centenarians gains support

By Florante Catanus, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau

Posted at Feb 12 2013 11:36 AM | Updated as of Feb 12 2013 07:36 PM

DAMMAM, Saudi Arabia - Filipinos in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia are supporting a Senate bill aimed at honoring Filipinos who reach the age of 100.

Noel Aquino, finance and administration manager in Dammam, expressed support for Senate Bill 3328 or the Proposed Centenarian Act.

The bill aimed to recognize and give honor to all Filipinos, residing in the Philippines or abroad, who reach the age of 100. There are about 8,000 Filipino centenarians based on the 2010 record of the National Statistics Office (NSO).

If the bill is signed into law, the centenarians will receive P100,000 cash gift and 50% discounts on goods and services in the Philippines, aside from a plaque of appreciation.

Aquino is hopeful that the bill will soon be signed into law so all Pinoy centenarians like his mother-in-law Victoriana Ecalne who is turning 100 years old on March 18, 2013, will benefit from it. Ecalne was born on March 18, 1913 in Candelaria, Zambales.

“Ako po ay natutuwa at mayroong Centenarian Bill to recognize the Filipino who reaches the age of 100. I’m sure my mother-in-law will be more than glad to hear about this good news and I know she will benefit from this bill,” Aquino said.

Although studies proved genetics play a role, he said it's important to have a good lifestyle to be able to have a long life.

He noted Lola Victoriana used to exercise and eat vegetables and fish. She is stress-free as well because her children did not give her any problem.

“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa author ng bill na ito. Actually, magiging encouragement ito para sa ibang tao para ma-reach ang 100 years because this is really quite an achievement,” Aquino added.

Like Aquino, the bill is also supported by Ronald Nicasio, administration officer in Al-Khobar, because it will give inspiration and aspiration to young Filipinos like him.

“Magandang bill po ito and I fully support it because it will inspire the young ones like me to live a healthy lifestyle to reach 100 years,” Nicasio said.

He said the life expectancy of Filipinos nowadays is between 70 to 75 years old. To reach 100 years is something special that should be emulated and should be given public recognition.