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March 01, 2018

Social Pension and the Aged

  • Khin Maung Oo
  • In Myanmar, it is generally accepted that those aged 60 and above are categorized as the seniors. The seniors who are still healthy and active in spite of their advancing years are found working, whereas some are spending the rest of their lives in peace at meditation centers and monasteries with some spending at homes helping their families. Meanwhile some are finding it difficult to survive in this helpless world.
    It is a noble cause for us to help desperate and family-less old people out of 4 categories of the aged group. Those people are mostly seen in monasteries, homes for the aged and on road-sides, most of whom the social welfare department and good Samaritans are providing assistance and support.
    Presently, we are greatly pleased to hear that social pensions are to be paid to nonagenarians in Regions & States of the nation. It has been learnt that social pensions will be provided after Ward/Village-tract administrative offices have made their data collection of the number of nonagenarian.
    The aged belonged to the group who dutifully performed national and families’ duties in some way or other, once in the past. Just after entering the sexagenarian group, some lose jobs, accumulating nothing for future use and being left in the lurch by families, relatives and colleagues. Whatever it is, we all are responsible to help them in gratitude for the help or support in they have given in some way or another towards their families and working environments.
    Not only nonagenarians but also octogenarians, septuagenarians and sexagenarians need to be provided with monetary subsidies. From the current financial year on, social pensions will be given out to those aged 90 and above at K 10,000 per month every 3 months.
    K 10000 subsidy can be said to be only a meager amount, but the State will have to spend monthly K 300 million for more than 30000 nonagenarians. It was generous for the State to have granted K 4.2 billion as the social pension from the national budget. All the aged tend to suffer physically or mentally, hence the need to provide 90 and above as well as those aged 60 and above who lack families with financial background. Under the current situations, only such an amount can be subsidized. If and when the country has flourished and develop, it will be likely for all the unemployed, the helpless and all the aged to enjoy similar provision of funds.
    Myanmar is a country where generous, kind-hearted and helpful people reside. Donations made individually or in groups are ubiquitous across the nation. Had we on our side joined in the activities of the government, we firmly believe that the senior in our society will be able to spend the remaining part of their lives in safety, comfort and financial hardship.


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