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Proposed measures for elderly welfare

04:01 AM March 16, 2020

The two-part special report of the Inquirer (published March 9 and 10, 2020) stating that some elderly have been abandoned by their families is not only unfortunate, but also disgusting.

Filipinos are noted for their close family relationships — something envied by other nationalities. The report emphasized what private sector groups and religious communities are doing to assist the abandoned elderly. What the reader missed was any mention of what the government is doing, aside from those mentioned in the Expanded Senior Citizens Act (Republic Act No. 9994).

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We in the seniors sector are aware of the law creating the National Commission for Seniors, which is mandated to program, manage, and administer all matters and welfare that will benefit the elderly. We believe that Congress has to initiate and enact new legislation to prevent the abandonment of the elderly, especially by the immediate members of the elderly’s family, and to enshrine the functions the government has to render to the elderly. After all, most of the elderly have rendered their service to the country, paid their taxes, and educated their children to be responsible citizens of the country.

The pieces of legislation we would like to suggest to Congress and ultimately to the President (an elderly like us, who will never be abandoned) are the following:

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OPINION

1) Create or establish a “home for the aged” to be funded by the government; also, “homes for the aged” established by the private sector or religious organizations should be given tax privileges;2) Create or establish an institution called “assisted living facility” for the aged who cannot physically help themselves even if they are not sick, to be funded by the government;

3) Mandate family members to support financially and care for their elderly parents, who shall be classified as dependents for income tax purposes;

4) Review bills for the benefit of the elderly previously filed in Congress but have not been enacted.

The bills suggested in

No. 1 and No. 2 are programs that have proven very successful in the United States. The above suggestions may help prevent the abandonment of elderly people. Every sector should act now; those who do not will suffer the same fate of abandonment. Remember, every minute every person ages. Tatanda rin kayo lahat!

MAFEO R. VIBAL,
Vice President for External Affairs
Legislative Liaison Officer
Philippine Association of Retired Persons
[email protected]

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