MANILA - Nearly half of the elderly in Asian countries including the Philippines do not receive pension benefits, an international labor survey revealed Friday.
While 29 percent of the world's population enjoys comprehensive social protection, Asia lags behind in protecting its population, the 2017 World Social Protection Report conducted by the International Labor Organization (ILO) showed.
"ILO's new report shows many countries, regionally and across the world, are prioritizing their social protection systems," Khalid Hassan, ILO Manila Country Office Director, said in a statement.
"We think this is a good time for Philippines to follow the same path and extend protection to its elderly through the launch of a universal pension,” Hassan added.
The Philippines recently increased social protection allocations.
ILO believes a universal pension plan will help the country achieve global social protection standards like China, Thailand, Mongolia, Brunei and Timor-Leste, which all managed to expand their coverage through universal tax funded pensions.
Insufficient pension coverage leaves the elderly vulnerable to poverty, inequality and social exclusions, becoming an obstacle to social and economic development, ILO said.
The rise in life expectancy in the country by five years between 2000 and 2015 also makes the pension gap a "troubling problem."
Nevertheless, ILO recognized the administration's effort to improve social protection through the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022.