The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has voiced its support for measures that seek to double the monthly pension of indigent senior citizens and grant income tax exemption to those in vulnerable sectors.
CHR Executive Director Jacqueline Ann de Guia said the proposed measures in Congress would help alleviate the financial constraints among the vulnerable populations, hence the commission’s “strong support” for Senate Bills 2506 and 2530 approved by the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
The House adopted the measure granting a raise on the social pension of poor senior citizens to P1,000 from the current P500. It also adopted a bill on the exemption from income tax of honoraria, allowances, and other financial benefits received by teachers who served in the recently concluded May 9 elections.
The Senate passed both proposed measures on Monday. “Once enacted into law, the bill will help alleviate the financial concerns that beset indigent senior citizens,” de Guia said.
“CHR believes this initiative would provide the elderly a more sustainable allowance as the prices of goods and medicines continue to rise,” she said as she lauded the passage of Senate Bill 2506, which “manifests respect to the rights of the elderly” and recognizes their “rights to attain dignified aging.”
The proposed law also transfers the distribution of the monthly payment from the Department of Social Welfare and Development to the National Commission of Senior Citizens within three years after its effectivity.
De Guia said “CHR equally appreciates the tax exemption for the teacher-poll watchers for this serves as a tangible incentive to honor their service and sacrifice during the crucial election period. It is a well-deserved compensation for their hard work in ensuring our right to vote.”
She noted that the proposed bill exemplifies Article II, Section 9 of the Constitution to enact policies that would help ensure a better standard of living for all.
“It is also in line with the social justice and human rights provisions of the Constitution that tasks the government to uplift the lives of the common people to ensure equity,” she added.
The CHR has called for the “swift passage” of the proposed bills to “ensure that indigent seniors and poll workers” can immediately enjoy the benefits “given the rising cost of goods and services.”
“We look forward to similar equal efforts that will alleviate the plight of vulnerable sectors,” de Guia said. Both bills now await the signature President Duterte.