"The amount of P186 million has been set aside for the tax-free cash gift of Filipino centenarians in the 2024 General Appropriations Law," Rillo stated in a statement on Sunday.
Rillo, a member of the House appropriations committee, stated, "We, in Congress, are fully determined to keep up the annual funding for the gift, in recognition of Filipinos who have achieved healthy ageing and longevity."
Juan Ponce Enrile, the current Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and former Senate President, is one of the recipients of this year's present. Enrile will turn 100 years old on Wednesday, Valentine's Day.
All naturally born Filipinos who turn 100 years old are eligible to receive a P100,000 one-time financial gift from the national government and a letter of congratulations from the president under the Centenarians Law of 2016, regardless of whether they live in the nation or abroad.
Since 2017, the Department of Social Welfare and Development has paid 12,186 centenarians a monetary gift totaling more than P1.2 billion.
Gift payments for Filipino nationals or dual citizens residing overseas go via Philippine embassies and consulates.
The monetary award is given to centenarians in addition to any additional incentives they could get from other organizations or local governments.
In the meantime, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is currently awaiting the signature of a bill aimed at honoring and recognizing Filipino nonagenarians and octogenarians.
The law would provide senior Filipinos a one-time monetary gift of P10,000 upon reaching the age of 80. Along with that, they would receive a one-time gift of P10,000 when they became 85, 90, and 95 years old.
A World Bank study indicates that the average life expectancy in the Philippines is 71 years, which is two years fewer than the global average of 73 years.