A PROPOSED law seeking to at least double the monthly social pension for indigent senior citizens is set to be approved by the House of Representatives on third and final reading when it resumes session on Monday.   

House Bill (HB) 9459 seeks to amend both Republic Act 7432 and Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 by providing a monthly stipend of at least P1,000 from P500 to assist with the purchase of daily and medical needs.    

The measure will also amend the qualifications of senior citizens who could receive the increased pension by removing the need to be “frail, sickly, or with disability” as defined by RA 9994. 

“Now, our senior citizens just have to prove that they do not have a permanent source of income. This will make it easier for senior citizens to avail of the social pension and eliminate one of the causes of corruption on the ground in its disbursement,” Senior Citizens Party-list Rep. Rodolfo M. Ordanes said. 

The proposed law also mandates the Department of Social Welfare and Development, in consultation with the Budget department, to review and consider a possible increase every two years.   

Mr. Ordanes said he expects that the measure will be “well-received” at the Senate, and he will work with Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III to pass a counterpart measure in the upper chamber.  

“I expect HB 9459 to be well-received at the Senate, where there are six Senate bills waiting for it for further consolidation, so when the Senate finally approves it, I do not expect the need for a bicameral committee,” he said. — Russell Louis C. Ku