"P16 a day for a month!"
This the amount indigent senior citizens have to survive on during the lockdown. Akbayan's Etta Rosales warned that our current social pension system of P500 a month for indigent senior citizens will starve them without immediate government support.
Rosales also lamented that there are more than 3 million senior citizens in the country who receive no pension at all amid COVID-19, leaving them with no financial capacity to prepare for the pandemic.
"Our senior citizens are dying in this battle with no support to prepare for the pandemic. 9 senior citizens have died due to COVID-19 from the 14 reported deaths as of Tuesday," Rosales said.
Rosales is citing data from the 2017 Coalition of Services for the Elderly (COSE) study that shows 40% of 8 million senior citizens have no pension.
"If our workers are laid off or forced to stop working and will receive no wages, where will our senior citizens get their money for food and medicine? These senior citizens rely on their working family member to give them support," Rosales added.
"Don't leave the senior citizens behind. They are retired and rely on pension. They have worked years on end supporting our economy, we need to support them too. Our community is only strong against sickness if our senior citizens are strong too," Rosales added.
"The government should increase the cash aid to P10,000 for the employed and informal workers affected by the lockdown and ensure that 4Ps payout continues for the month. Barangays should help provide their health care and other needs. We can't abandon our senior citizens with just scraps of the budget," Rosales said. ###