SENIOR citizens are no longer required to make a personal appearance to validate and get their pensions starting next month, Malacañang said on Friday, in consideration of their safety from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) “mandated pension-issuing agencies and their servicing banks and other financial institutions to adopt alternative modes of validation for senior citizen pensioners.”
At present, Roque said senior citizens “make personal appearances or submit documents that require personal appearances before a notary public in order to have continuous access to their pensions.”
However, senior citizens are among high-risk groups, which are vulnerable to the coronavirus disease.
“The IATF considered the health and safety of senior citizen pensioners in approving this resolution and directed relevant government agencies to issue the corresponding memorandum circulars for its implementation by March 1, 2021,” Roque said.
At present, only persons aged 15 to 65 years old are allowed to go out.
President Rodrigo Duterte has recalled the policy of allowing persons aged 10 to 65 to go out of their homes due to the threat of the new Covid-19 variant.
A decision to allow children aged 10 to 14 to go out was done in line with the goal of balancing health and the economy.
On Monday, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) recommended to the President to allow individuals aged five to 70 to go outside their homes, provided that there are proper safeguards, one of which is to require parents to accompany their children or at least allow them only in more open areas.
Doctors’ groups like the Philippine Pediatric Society and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines thumbed down proposals to allow children in malls.