Vice president and presidential aspirant Leni Robredo said that if she wins the election, she will double the monthly pension of indigent senior citizens from P500 to P1,000.

Robredo explained that the P1,000 monthly pension for indigent senior citizens is realistic to cover the daily expenses of senior citizens, such as basic medicines. She added that the said amount can be increased in phases as years go by. 

“We can achieve this by implementing a more rational way of spending the people’s money. We must rethink the non-essential expenses such as travel, seminars, vehicle acquisition, and the representation allowance given to government officials,” Robredo said.

Robredo noted the 2022 national budget only designated P25 billion for the P500 monthly pension for indigent senior citizens. The said amount can be further increased along with deductions of other items in the government’s annual spending program: travel (P19.6 billion), trainings (P39.5 billion), supplies and materials (P167.7 billion) and professional services or the hiring of consultants (P48.5 billion).

“We will encourage sacrifice on the part of everyone in the bureaucracy, starting with the Office of the President, to raise funds for important programs,” Robredo added.

Robredo added that more funds should be used as financial support for around five million senior citizens than for the employment of consultants. 

“Clearly, there is a lot of room in the national budget to generate funds for programs like doubling the monthly stipend of senior citizens,” she said.

The presidential aspirant also said that many elderly retirees are getting small amounts of pension from the Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

“They too need help from the government. The monthly stipend from the national government would augment their pension,” she said. Ronald Espartinez