By Mike G. Jamisola
The National Commission on Senior Citizens (NCSC) is backing up the lifting of the civil service law on mandatory retirement age 65 years to give way to more social pension benefits for the country’s more than 11 million elderly.
NCSC Chairman Atty. Franklin Quijano said the lifting of the mandatory retirement age of 65 and allowing the aging workers continue to work if they decide so, would create more social pension benefits for them.
Quijano added that by extending the working years of older persons, they could avail of multiple benefits from social service retirement funds such as the SSS and GSIS or we could adopt the US model wherein American workers could avail up to two or even three social retirement benefits.
“Our seniors are our nation’s greatest assets, why should we prevent them of being productive contributors to our society. Why don’t we allow them to continue working as long as they are physically fit and mentally capable to go on,” Atty. Quijano explained.
The NCSC also reiterated its full support to Senior Citizen party-list Rep. Rodolfo Ordanes, Jr., who earlier filed a bill seeking to repeal the compulsory retirement age of 65 years.
Ordanes filed House Bill 3220, which he said is “a progression from the Anti-Age Discrimination Law which has enabled many seniors to continue working because they can apply for jobs now that there is no age ceiling on hiring.”
If approved, the measure will repeal a provision in the Labor Code that sets the compulsory retirement age at 65 years.
Just last week, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go also urged the government to continue protecting and promoting the welfare of senior citizens, stressing that it must be a choice rather than a necessity for them to continue working as they age.
Sen. Bong Go said the government should seriously study and consider the welfare of our elderly. “If proposed removal of age-based restrictions for employment, benefits the family and if a senior can still work then we should act on it,” he stressed.
No less than National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief Arsenio Balisacan had also declared his support for Rep. Ordanes’ HB 3220, adding that he has asked the private sector to hire seniors who are still in good physical and mental health.
According to latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, there were 12,336,355 Filipinos aged 60 years old and above as of May 2020.
The total number of senior citizens was 11.31 percent of the country’s estimated total population at 109,035,343, based on the 2020 Census of Population and Housing (2020 CPH).