DSWD: Hundreds of centenarians still waiting for cash gift

Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 21 2022 06:26 PM

Senior citizens react to discussions on initiatives and measures for their benefit in a forum in Quezon City on Oct. 3, 2018, in line with Elderly Filipino Week. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File 
Senior citizens react to discussions on initiatives and measures for their benefit in a forum in Quezon City on Oct. 3, 2018, in line with Elderly Filipino Week. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File 

MANILA — Around 700 centenarians are still waiting for their P100,000 cash gift from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, it said on Wednesday. 

Last year, there were at least 886 centenarians on the cash gift waitlist, DSWD Director for Program Management Bureau Maricel Deloria said during the House Special Committee on Senior Citizens organizational meeting. 

"Kasama ngayon na binabayaran ng DSWD sa taong ito yung mga na-waitlisted last year. Magkakaroon ito ng ripple effect for 2022... resulting to 704 waitlisted centenarian beneficiaries,” she said. 

(Those who were waitlisted last year would be among those who would be paid by the DSWD this year. This will have a ripple effect for 2022, resulting to 704 waitlisted centenarian beneficiaries.)

Regions with the most number of waitlisted centenarians include Ilocos with 120 beneficiaries, Western Visayas with 116, and Central Visayas with 110. NCR has 45 beneficiaries on its waiting list.

Under the law, senior citizens who reach the age of 100 are entitled to the P100,000 centennial gift and a letter of felicitation from the Philippine president, as a way of honoring and “congratulating the celebrant for his or her longevity”.

"The department (DSWD) has already submitted a request for additional funding to the DBM and we are now awaiting response," Deloria said.

A member of the committee asked if the P100,000 could be given in installments starting perhaps at 70 years old. 

Deloria suggested that members of the special committee consider a “separate” law instead.

"Dapat nating i-consider, maaari tayo sigurong magkaroon ng separate na batas, not necessarily calling it centenarian subsidy, mabigyan lang natin ng kakaibang benepisyo yung mga Filipino citizens na talagang umaabot naman ng 100 years old, kasi it is a milestone," she said. 

(We should consider have a separate law, not necessarily calling it centenarian subsidy, so that we can have special benefits for Filipinos who reach 100 years old because it is a milestone.) 

Special Committee Chairperson Rodolfo Ordanes said he would take up the matter in the next committee hearings.