“GOCC dividends can fund rising pensions for the elderly poor”

National Treasury dividend income from state-owned or state-controlled corporations (GOCCs) can fund the 25 billion pesos needed to double the pension of indigent elderly people to 1,000 pesos a month, as required by a new law , Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel said Sunday.

“The country’s economic recovery is on track, so we are counting on GOCCs to generate higher profits and pay out more cash dividends. The money can be used to fund increased pensions,” Pimentel said.

“In 2021 alone, GOCCs remitted a total of 57.55 billion pesos in cash dividends to state coffers,” he pointed out.

Pimentel was responding to reports that the Department of Budget and Management is still looking for money to fund the double increase in the monthly pension for the elderly poor from 500 pesos to 1,000 pesos.

The increase is mandated by a bill that became law on July 30.

“If the government does not provide money for increased pensions, the incidence of hunger could worsen among older people who have no means of financial support,” Pimentel warned.

“Their current monthly subsidy of P500 has been reduced to a pittance by rampant inflation,” he said.

“Indigent Elderly” refers to Filipinos aged 60 and over who do not receive any old-age pension from the existing retirement benefit systems, who have no regular source of income, and who do not receive any assistance from their relatives.

Last week, Pimentel asked Malacañang to include in the proposed national budget for 2023 the additional 25 billion pesos needed for the social pension program for indigent elderly people.

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