Almost half of the elderly population in the Philippines lack income security, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).
The pension gap is happening at the same time that the average life expectancy for Filipinos is rising, reported GMA News citing the ILO. "Between 2000 and 2015, life expectancy rose by five years, which is the fastest increase since the 1960s. This makes the low pension coverage a particularly troubling problem, creating additional financial burdens for the family, as the ratio between elderly parents and adult children rises," the ILO noted.
“ILO’s new report shows many countries, regionally and across the world, are prioritising their social protection systems. We think this is a good time for Philippines to follow the same path and extend protection to its elderly through the launch of a universal pension," Mr Khalid Hassan, director of ILO Manila Country Office, said.
In its World Social Protection report 2017-2019, ILO estimated that some 40% or 3.2 million of the 8 million Filipino senior citizens do not have access to pension. The report cited data from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
"On the positive side, though, social protection remains one of the major agenda in the country as reflected in the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, launched in January 2017," the ILO said.
Specific strategies of the government include establishing an unemployment insurance system, enhancing social protection for the informal sector, improving the social pension system, expanding health insurance packages, and strengthening mechanisms to ensure enrolment in the social security system, among others.