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The new law, Republic Act 10868, was approved by Aquino last June 23, said Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the measure's primary proponent in the House of Representatives.

Under RA 10868, all Filipinos who reach the age of 100 will receive a letter of felicitation from the President of the Philippines and a P100,000 cash gift, whether they are residing in the Philippines or abroad.

They will also be awarded with a plaque of recognition and additional cash gift from their respective city or municipal governments during the National Respect for Centenarians Day, which is set on September 25 of every year.

Lagman said an estimated 3,500 Filipinos aged 100 and older will benefit from the enactment of the Centenarian Act.

“I am especially excited for the 3,500 Filipino centenarians who will be conferred with the recognition they rightfully deserve and of course their P100,000.00 cash gift very soon,” he said in a statement Monday.

Lagman said he is grateful for Aquino for signing the bill into law before he steps down on June 30.

“Just in the nick of time! I must say it was really a long wait but it was well worth the wait," he said.

“[On] behalf of all the co-authors of the Centenarians Act, I would like to thank our President for giving it the green light at last,” the lawmaker added.

In 2013, Aquino vetoed a bill giving additional benefits to centenarians because of a provision mandating businesses to grant a 75-percent discount on goods and services to customers aged 100 and older.

Malaca├▒ang said the clause was “too heavy” for business entities to shoulder. —ALG, GMA News

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