As the country observes Elderly Filipino Week from October 1 to 7, the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) has launched the five-year Philippine Plan of Action for Senior Citizens (PPASC 2023-2028) at the Mabini Social Hall of Malacañang Palace.
The action plan aims to create an inclusive and age-friendly society that safeguards the rights and privileges, as well as the health and well-being, of senior citizens nationwide.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has also directed all national government agencies and local government units (LGUs) to support activities in line with the occasion.
Elderly Filipino Week is held every first week of October, as mandated by Proclamation No. 470-1994, to highlight the significant role of the elderly sector in nation-building and in promoting their rights and welfare.
Under Section 2 of Republic Act (RA) No. 11350 or the National Commission of Senior Citizens Act, the State will adopt measures to advance the health and well-being of senior citizens, provide services, programs, and activities beneficial to them, and ensure a supportive and enabling environment for the elderly.
Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin issued Memorandum Circular No. 34 on September 29, designating the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) to lead activities for Elderly Filipino Week.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority's 2020 survey, the country has 9.22 million senior citizens.
NCSC Chairperson Franklin Quijano stated that the action plan aims to create an inclusive and age-friendly society that safeguards the rights and privileges, as well as the health and well-being, of senior citizens nationwide.
He noted that it is a blueprint to realize the NCSC’s vision of making senior citizens happy, healthy, empowered, and productive while living in a safe place that is free from abuse and exploitation, with their rights protected, free from poverty, and able to contribute to the development of their communities.
NCSC Commissioner Reymar Mansilungan urged lawmakers to amend Republic Act 8291 (Government Security Insurance System or GSIS Act) to include a provision that would allow retirees to continue their membership in state-run pension agencies such as the Social Security System (SSS) and GSIS.
He said, "There are legislators proposing to remove the retirement age because some individuals at 65 are still capable, and their wisdom is invaluable. However, they lose their benefits. Why? Our SSS law specifies membership only up to age 60.”
The implication is that there is a provision in the GSIS law that requires 15 years of contributions to qualify for a pension. So, if you reach 65 years old and your employment is 14 years and 11 months, GSIS won't accept your last contribution. What we need is to amend the GSIS law, he added.