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Growing old too fast: Ako Bicol wants 56-year old Pinoys declared senior citizens

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A Bicol-based party list wants the age for senior citizenship lowered from 60 to 56, so more people can enjoy benefits due senior citizens.

House Bill 529 filed by Ako Bicol party-list cited health-related complications and physical limitations already surfacing by 56.

Because of this, the “benefits and special privileges afforded at 60 years old will greatly benefit senior members of our population at an earlier time,” Rep. Rodel Batocabe said.

Also, the bill may benefit police and military personnel who retire at age 56 but have to wait four years for their benefits.

The bill may complement House Bill 136, which seeks to lower the optional retirement age at 56.

Under the bills, those who opt to retire at age 56 can receive retirement benefits and benefits afforded senior citizens, including discounts on basic necessities, depending on the local government unit concerned.

“By widening the base of those eligible for senior citizenship, the government provides the corresponding benefits to a more significant portion of our population, making life more pleasant for them after having spent most of it in the labor force,” Batocabe said.