THE national task force handling the coronavirus response has directed pension agencies to come up with new procedures that will no longer require pensioners to make an annual physical appearance to continue receiving their benefits.

In its Resolution No. 100 dated February 18, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases said, “pension issuing agencies and their servicing banks, quasi-banks, and other financial institutions are mandated to adopt alternative modes of validation for senior citizen pensioners in lieu of personal appearances or submission of documents that require personal appearances before a notary public.”

The agencies are also tasked to hold public consultations before adopting the new measures.

“At present, senior citizens make personal appearances or submit documents that require personal appearances before a notary public in order to have continuous access to their pensions,” said Palace Spokesperson Harry L. Roque in a statement on Friday.

Those who are at least 60 years old are considered senior citizens in the Philippines and is generally the starting pension age.

Under the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) restrictions issued by the government, those 65 years old and above are prohibited from leaving their homes unless for emergency or humanitarian reasons. — Gillian M. Cortez