MANILA, Philippines - Filipinos who reach their 100th birthday are in for a treat from the government soon.
House Bill No. 834 or the Centenarians Act of 2012, has been approved on third and final reading by Congress before lawmakers adjourned for the Lenten break.
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, who authored the bill said other countries like Sweden, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Italy have been honoring their centenarians with congratulatory messages from their heads of state, and are given financial assistance and other economic benefits.
Under the centenarian bill, Filipinos in the Philippines and abroad are entitled to the following benefits:
- A cash gift of P100,000.00 on their 100th birthday and a congratulatory letter from the President of the Philippines;
- An additional cash reward from the local government unit where they are residing at the option of the LGU concerned;
- Posthumous plaques of recognition in honor of all deceased centenarians who died before the effectivity of the law which will be presented to the nearest surviving relative;
- Fifty percent discount and exemption from the value added tax (VAT), if applicable, on the sale of goods and services from all establishments for the exclusive use and enjoyment or availment of centenarians.
The bill also declars September 25 as "National Respect for Centenarians Day" wherein all Filipinos who have become centenarians during the year will be awarded plaques of recognition and cash incentives by their respective city or municipal governments.