Manila: The senate is expected to pass its own version of the bill that the House of Representatives passed to give rewards to 100-year-old Filipinos, a congressman said.
The senate must pass its Centenarians Act of 2012. Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile, who is 88-years-old, knows the importance of this bill, said Congressman Edcel Lagman.
The eldest at the House of Representatives is Congressman Pablo Garcia who is 86.
The lower house's version of Centenarians Act calls for P100,000 (Dh8,333.33) cash rewards to those who reach one hundred years of age, said Lagman, the bill's author.
It also calls for 50 per cent discount to centenarians, compared to the 20 per cent deductions for the purchases of 60-year-old senior citizens. The centenarians would also be exempt from the legislated 12-per cent value-added tax.
The bill reserved September 25 as "National Respect for Centenarians Day" for the centenarians to receive recognition from their local government units.
It was unanimously approved at the House of Representatives on third and final reading, said Lagman.
"Our centenarians deserve to be honored and respected. Centenarians are our role models for living long and aging well. They are the role models for the future of aging," said Lagman, 69.
"If I get to reach the mark, I will donate the cash award to the government fund for centenarians," he said.
"Given the country's development, the life expectancy of average Filipino is 71 years. Living to be a centenarian is an achievement and a distinction worthy of emulation and public recognition," Lagman explained.
The new incentive to centenarians is an amendment of the country's Republic Act No. 7432, which provides 20 per cent discount to purchases made by senior citizens who reach the age of 60.
There are 7,354 Filipinos who have reached 100 and above, the National Statistics Office said.
About 455,000 people worldwide have reached one hundred, according to the 2009 report of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division.
The number of centenarians worldwide is expected to reach 4.1 million by 2050.
Sixty nine percent of centenarians live in the more developed regions," the UN report said, adding that Japan's 76,000 people aged one hundred in 2009 will reach almost 800,000 in 2050.