Close to a year since the Philippines was placed under lockdown to contain COVID-19, the government finally relaxed requirements for senior citizens claiming pension.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced Friday (February 19) that government agencies have been required to update rules so senior citizens no longer have to physically appear for various transactions. Banks and financial institutions are told to “adopt alternative modes of validation” for pensioners instead.
The Social Security System and Government Service Insurance System, which are in charge of releasing pension for retired workers in the government and private sector, respectively, are among the government agencies told to update their guidelines.
Netizens are aghast that the government only thought of making the lives of senior citizens easier now.
Daria Medina commented: “Yes tayo kasi kahit baldado ka na at gumahapng na lang oblgado pa ring personal na magpunta. Style niyo panahon pa lapu lapu, bulok.”
Imelda Bondoc also complained about the timing. “Juice mio bakit ngayun lang ang daming pensioners na hirap silang kumuha ng pinaghirapang pensions nila,” she said.
Romie Coloma added: “Philippines, please review your IRR’s for pensioners and update if possible every year to avoid delays of paying them of their much deserving pay they need in their old age.”
Seniors aged 65 years and older can go out of their homes in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ). Local government units (LGUs) under GCQ are left to decide if they will adopt the relaxed rules.