(PNA photo by Gil Calinga)

MANILA – The Senate will monitor the implementation of Republic Act (RA) No. 11916, or the Social Pension for Indigent Seniors Act, which lapsed into law on July 30.

Calling it a "great legacy" of the 18th Congress, RA 11916 is also the best gift that the Marcos administration can give to some four million Filipinos aged 60 and above, according to principal author Senator Joel Villanueva.

Senator Sonny Angara said "it's time to give back” to the sector that has contributed in a lot of ways to society.

He guaranteed the Senate will make sure that the law, which doubled the PHP500 monthly pension, is being implemented.

"Tayo ay nagpapasalamat at naging ganap na batas na ang pagdagdag ng social pension para sa ating mga senior citizens na ngayon ay magiging PHP1,000 na kada buwan (We are thankful that the measure seeking to add social pension for our senior citizens was already passed into law, making it PHP1,000 per month)," Angara said in a statement.

The National Commission of Senior Citizens, which will be under the Office of the President, will distribute the pension, instead of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

With the passage of RA 11916, co-author Senator Grace Poe said the government is now affording elders the opportunity to receive better health and life care.

"Aside from a higher pension, an important aspect of this law is its adaptive character which allows for an adjustment of the social pension, if necessary, every two years subject to review and consultation and taking into account the prevailing consumer price index," Poe explained in her manifestation on Tuesday.

Poe thanked her colleagues for supporting RA 11916, especially Villanueva whom she said would have a "meaningful birthday celebration".

"Happy birthday indeed. Batas na po ang ating (It is already a law), doubling the pension of indigent senior citizens. Praise God!” Villanueva, who turned 47 on Tuesday, said in a statement.

Poe likewise extended the Senate's gratitude to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for recognizing and acting on the needs of senior citizens. (With a report from Leonel M. Abasola/PNA)