|MANILA, Dec.4,2017-- Over half of the elderlies in the Philippines have no pension and face poverty, a new International Labor Organization (ILO) report said on Friday.
The ILO also said in its New World Social Protection Report 2017/19 that Asia "clearly lags behind when it comes to protection of its population".
"The decades-long development model dominating the region prioritized economic growth at the expense of redistributive policies. Consequently, a large share of the population are denied the fight to social protection," the report said.
"Despite progress in recent years, the Philippines's social protection system 'retains serious gaps'."
"The majority of the elderly citizens (in the Philippines) do not have income security, that is, they do not have a pension, despite a significant increase in allocation," the report says.
This is in contrast to the countries like China, Thailand, Mongolia, Brunei, and East Timor which have considerably expanded their coverage through the use of universal funded pensions, the report pointed out.
In 2017, the report said the Philippine government made efforts to increase benefit levels of senior citizens receiving contributory pension and to increase the social pension coverage of indigent senior citizens. " However, around 40 percent of Filipino senior citizens are still left without income security."
Khalid Hassan, director of ILO in the Philippines, said ILO's new report showed that many countries in Asia and the world are prioritising their social protection systems.
"We think this is a good time for the Philippines to follow the same path and extend protection to its elderly through the launch of a universal pension," Hassan said.
On the positive side, Hassan said social protection remains one of the major agenda reflected in the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 that the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte launched in January 2017.