AS the first rampart of democracy in the Philippines, the two-chamber Congress makes sure the people’s needs and aspirations are met.
That’s why our lawmakers -- senators and congressmen -- deserve the support of the public as they come up with legislation aimed at giving flesh to their pro-people agenda.
Thus, it is certainly disheartening to note that a good number of laws remain unimplemented due to lack of funds.
Take the case of the landmark Centenarian Law, which grants Filipinos aged 100 years old and up cash and other benefits.
Even the previous administration did not allocate money to be given to centenarians although the measure was signed into law by former President Benigno S. Aquino III.
Records show that a few days before he stepped down from office at 12 noon on June 30, 2016, Aquino signed Republic Act (RA) No. 10868, the same measure he vetoed in 2013.
Under RA No. 10868, Filipinos aged 100 and up will get one-time cash incentive of P100,000 and additional benefits, discounts and privileges from the government and business firms.
Secretary Judy Taguiwalo of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) told the House committee on appropriations that there’s no allocation for the centenarians both in 2016 and 2017.
This prompted the main author of RA No. 10868, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, to ask the DSWD why there’s no allocation listed in its budget for 2017.
Taguiwalo said those who prepared the 2017 budget proposal may have missed the item and that the only solution is to request it from the Department of Budget and Management.
If we want to regain the trust and confidence of the Filipino people, then let’s implement all pieces of legislation, particularly those seeking to uplift the living conditions of the elderly and other special social sectors.