There should be a reliable database of senior citizens to improve service delivery to the elderly.
This was one of the key points raised by National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer Atty. Franklin Quijano during the webinar titled “Making the Social Pension (SocPen) Program More Beneficial to Indigent Seniors amid the COVID-19 Pandemic” recently organized by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). 
Quijano, a discussant at the webinar, said that the database should contain the seniors’ socioeconomic, health, expertise, and legal profiles, as well as information about their pension, benefits, and degree of dependency.
Relatedly, he concurred with the proposal of the PIDS study to have a differentiated pension amount for senior citizens, saying that it is “very equitable”, but noted that there is a need to improve the data generation system.
"If we have a reliable database, the [PIDS study’s] proposal for a [differentiated pension amount based on need] is really what is best: PHP 1,000 for the poorest, PHP 750 for the second decile, and PHP 500 for the third to fifth decile,” he said.
The chairperson mentioned that the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s SocPen Program has “done so much help, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic wherein many seniors have become impoverished”. However, the more important concern, he said, is the sustainable development of the elderly sector.
He also called for society’s participation in promoting age-friendly cities and communities.
According to Quijano, making use of senior citizens’ skill sets, knowledge, and experience may address the issue of social support.
“We hope that you will help us revisit the industrial and labor policies, including employment, retirement, and reemployment, and the inventory of skills of our senior citizens…We are very much aware that we need reskilling and upgrading, especially [in] the virtual world that we are facing,” he said.
The NCSC is created under Republic Act 11350 or the National Commission of Senior Citizens Act. It is “mandated to ensure the full implementation of laws, policies, and programs of the government on senior citizens, review and conduct related studies, and recommend policy to Congress and the President.” ###
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