Quezon City Rep. Marvin Rillo has assured Filipinos who are turning 100 years old this year that there is ample funding for their P100,000 centenarian gift.
“In the 2024 General Appropriations Law, the sum of P186 million has been earmarked for the tax-free cash gift of Filipino centenarians,” Rillo said in a statement on Sunday.
“We, in Congress, are fully determined to keep up the annual funding for the gift, in recognition of Filipinos who have achieved healthy ageing and longevity,” Rillo, a member of the House committee on appropriations, said.
Among this year’s beneficiaries of the gift is former Senate President and now Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile, who will be 100 years old on Wednesday, Valentine’s Day.
Under the Centenarians Law of 2016, all natural-born Filipinos who reach 100 years old, whether residing in the country or overseas, are entitled to receive the P100,000 one-time cash gift from the national government, along with a letter of felicitation from the President.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development has spent more than P1.2 billion for the cash gift of 12,186 centenarians since 2017.
In the case of Filipino citizens or dual citizens living abroad, payment of the gift is coursed through Philippine embassies and consulates.
The cash grant is on top of all other rewards that centenarians may receive from other sources, such as their local governments.
Meanwhile, a bill seeking to recognize and reward Filipino octogenarians and nonagenarians is now awaiting President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s signature.
Under the bill, elderly Filipinos who reach 80 years old would receive a one-time cash gift of P10,000. They would also receive the one-time P10,000 gift upon reaching the “milestones” of 85 years old, 90 years old, and 95 years old.
The average life expectancy in the Philippines is 71 years, or two years less than the global average of 73 years, according to a World Bank study.