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No cash gifts for PH centenarians

Senate Minority Leader Ralph G. Recto said yesterday that the country will observe the first official National Centenarians Day on October 2 but there are no funds for cash gifts for 100-year-old Filipinos or older based on a new law.

Recto said this was caused by the non-inclusion of the funds in the proposed P3.3-trillion national budget for 2017, prompting him to prod both Malacañang and Congress to correct the oversight.

He did not fault the then outgoing Aquino administration and the incoming Duterte government for the non-inclusion.

Recto authored the Filipino Centenarians Act in the Senate, which was later sponsored by Senators Nancy Binay, Juan Edgardo “Sonny’’ Angara, and Francis “Chiz’’ Escudero for floor debates.

President Aquino signed it as Republic Act 10868 on June 23, a week before leaving office.

The measure, originally authored by Albay Rep. Edcel C. Lagman, was first vetoed by Aquino until a revised version got the presidential nod on the second try.

Under RA 10868, centenarians will receive a P100,000 cash gift from the government and “a personal letter of felicitation from the President.” (Mario B. Casayuran)