DSWD centenarian
A centenarian receives a plaque signed by the president and a cash gift of Php100,000 (about $2,000) from a Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) official. Image Credit: DSWD-NCR via PNA

Manila: More than 8,500 Filipino centenarians have received Php100,000 ($2,000) cash “incentive” since a law that provides for the cash doleout kicked in. Now, the cash gift will be bumped up to nearly $20,000, if a new law is passed.

The original law, known as the "Centenarians Act of 2016”, or Republic Act 10868, celebrates the longevity of Filipino centenarians with the cash gift — even if they are residing abroad.

On Friday (February 11, 2022), data from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) showed 8,568 centenarians have benefited from the law.

The following is the breakdown of RA 10868 beneficiaries:

  • 2016: 2,739
  • 2017: 940
  • 2018: 1,509
  • 2019: 1,090
  • 2020: 985
  • 2021: 1,305

"Centenarians, rich or poor, residing in the country or abroad, are entitled to receive a Php100,000 centenarian gift," the DSWD said in a statement to the state-owned Philippine News Agency (PNA), clarifying misinformation that the law is only for the indigent.

Apart from the financial grant and other incentives provided by local government units, the recipients also receive a Letter of Felicitation from the President.

Soon, it's Php1 million per centenarian

In January, the House of Representatives approved House Bill 10647 with 193 affirmative votes and zero negative votes and abstentions to amend the law and award Php1 million (about $29,271) instead to a centenarian.

The bill also provides that Filipinos who reach 80 years, 85 years, 90 years, and 95 years shall receive Php25,000 each and a letter of felicitation.

"For the Filipino nation, the cash gift is an expression of gratitude and a gesture of respect for the centenarians’ contributions to the development of the country," the DSWD told the Philippine News Agency. 

National Respect for Centenarians Day.
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10868, passed on June 23, 2016, is known as “An Act Honoring and Granting Additional Benefits and Privileges to Filipino centenarians, and for other purposes.”

All Filipinos who reach the age of one hundred (100) years old, whether residing in the Philippines or abroad, shall be honored with:

(a) A Letter of Felicitation from the President of the Philippines congratulating the celebrant for his or her longevity; and

(b) A Centenarian Gift in the amount of one hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00).

The Philippines marks the annual Elderly Filipino Week, from October 1 to 7. The first Sunday of October is also declared as National Respect for Centenarians Day.

The cash gift is given by staff of the concerned local government unit and administered by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Funding for the cash gift is part of the country's annual budget, or the so-called "General Appropriations Act."