THE House committee on population and family relations has approved a measure that seeks to increase the social pension for senior citizens.

The bill entitled "Expanded Senior Citizen Social Pension Act" mandates the government to give senior citizens P1000 monthly social pension.

The measure stemmed from eight bills aimed at simplifying the qualification for the social pension program and increasing the amount of the senior citizens' social pension from P500 to P1000.

According to one of its authors, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate, the bill removed such requirements as "frail, sickly or with disability" to avail of the pension.

The bill states that the pension should be available to all senior citizens, including those without income, without pension and those receiving a minimum of P3,500 pension from the Social Security System (SSS) and others.

The same committee also approved on Wednesday, February 28, the "Anti-Elder Abuse Act".

The bill aims to address all forms of abuse or crime of violence against the elderly.

Under the bill,aside from imprisonment, those found to have committed violent acts against the elderly will be fined with an amount ranging from P100,000 to P300,000.

According to Representative Sol Aragones, chair of the committee, the two measures will be filed soon in preparation for its second reading at the plenary. (SunStar Philippines)