Abide by the Bible’s fifth commandment | Inquirer Opinion

Abide by the Bible’s fifth commandment

/ 05:01 AM October 17, 2022

One of the 10 commandments in the Bible with a clear promise to its adherents is the fifth commandment: “Honor your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12).

It is unconscionable and pathetic to hear the pleadings of the elderly led by the Philippine Association of Retired Professionals Inc. fall on deaf ears in Congress. A bill in the 18th Congress, which sought to amend the centenarian law that grants P100,000 for those reaching their 100th birthday so that beneficiaries can get part of the emolument on their 90th birth anniversary instead, had been bypassed. That bill is being revived in the 19th Congress, with sponsors hoping for a more sympathetic response.

By estimate, there are only 600 Filipinos today who are centenarians. That costs the government only P60 million a year. If half of the P100,000 is given, say, at age 90, and then increased proportionately until age 100, the inflation for the next 10 years would have left almost nothing of real purchase value. Reaching 90 is a difficult hurdle, a blessing few of us can ever dream of achieving. Think as well of how we should be chastened with the World Bank’s estimate that 20 percent of the government’s annual budget, or roughly P800 billion yearly, were lost to corruption in 2018 and 2019. A deputy ombudsman had taken note of that United Nations Development Programme report.

The cost of getting sick among the elderly outweighs the cost of the early distribution of their emoluments, if the amendments to the law are given special consideration by this Congress. Hopefully, Congress won’t disappoint the lolos and lolas who just want to have some wherewithal to enjoy their sunset years. Let’s honor them, as the good Lord commands.

MARVEL K. TAN
Quezon City

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TAGS: Bible, fifth commandment, Letters to the Editor

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