Macalintal proposes senior citizens' common fund

BATANGAS, Philippines – If elected, Otso Diretso senatorial candidate Romulo Macalintal  said he would push for the creation of a senior citizens' common fund that would help less fortunate seniors, especially those who have no one else to depend on in their twilight years.

"Balang araw wala ka nang makikitang indigent, hindi ka na manghihingi ng social pension sa pamahalaan. Hindi ka na magiging parang pulubi na lagi na lang nanghihingi ng tulong kung kani-kanino," the 71-year-old Macalintal told businessmen here, his home province, on Wednesday, Aprl 10, as he bared his plans if elected to the Senate.

(There will come a time when you would not see indigent seniors, you wouldn't ask for social pension from the government. You would no longer have to be like a beggar, seeking help from anyone.)

He said that under his proposal, all establishments will be required to have their cash registers programmed to allow senior citizen patrons to donate a portion of their mandated discount to the said fund.  

With an estimated 7 million senior citizens in the country, Macalintal said a donation of even just 50 centavos per day will translate to P91 million a month of P1.2 billion a year.   

"'Yung iba naman diyan hindi lang 50 centavos ang ibibigay nila, kaya I'm estimating around P5 billion pesos per year coming from senior citizens' discount from groceries, restaurants, and other establishments. Ito ang programa na nakikita kong may magandang patutunguhan,” he said.

(Others won't give just 50 centavos so I'm estimating that around P5 billion per year from citiens' discount from groceries, restaurants, and other establishments. I foresee this as a promising program.)

Macalintal said that the fund should be managed by known businessmen with reputable character to ensure that it is in safe hands.  

“Kapag nagawa natin yan, kahit saan makarating ang senior citizen ay magiging respetado dahil bilyon-bilyon ang kanilang pondo (f we achieve that, senior citizen would be respected wherever they go because of their multi-billion fund), ” the senatorial hopeful said. 

Macalintal also wants to propose an additional 10% to the discount given to senior citizens every 10 years, such that when a person reaches 90 years old, he will already be eligible to a 50% discount.

Macalintal had been broaching the idea of a common fund for seniors for several years now. In 2015, he asked businessmen's groups to help pool together unclaimed senior citizens' discounts for a fund to help especially poor senior citizens. –