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Senate bills protecting seniors from abuse filed

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star
Senate bills protecting seniors from abuse filed
Sen. Sonny Angara filed Senate Bill 639, an act defining and prohibiting senior citizen abuse, while Sen. Lito Lapid filed SB 1201, to be known as the Homes for Abandoned Seniors Act.
STAR / Mer Layson, File

MANILA, Philippines — Senators filed bills seeking to protect senior citizens from abuse and neglect, in recognition of their contribution to the country’s development.

Sen. Sonny Angara filed Senate Bill 639, an act defining and prohibiting senior citizen abuse, while Sen. Lito Lapid filed SB 1201, to be known as the Homes for Abandoned Seniors Act.

“A rise in the incidents of senior citizen abuse has been seen as of late…As the number of senior citizens increases, it is also expected that the incidence of abuse will also increase. This bill seeks to provide proper and adequate protection for the welfare of our senior citizens. It aims to strengthen and reinforce the fact that senior citizen abuse is not a private matter but a public and serious one which should be the concern of the entire society,” Angara said.

Quoting the Philippine Statistics Authority, Angara said there were 12.3 million Filipinos aged 60 years old and above as of May 2020, while the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs projected that the country will have an aging population by 2032 such that those aged 65 years and above are expected to account for more than seven percent of the total Philippine population.

“By clearly defining what constitutes senior citizen abuse and providing well-defined penalties therefor, this bill hopes to deter the abusers from committing any form of abuse against our senior citizens,” Angara said.

“This bill also aims to provide institutional support to victims of senior citizen abuse with the hope that a more participative involvement of the society will afford our senior citizens more protection,” he noted.

He said respect for elders has been one of the hallmarks of Philippine culture and society.

Lapid has filed a bill seeking to institutionalize the establishment of nursing homes for neglected and abandoned elderly in every city and municipality.

Lapid recognized the immense contributions of senior citizens to the growth and progress of the country. He said the proposed measure aims to provide institutionalized residential care programs and services, such as but not limited to comfortable living quarters, adequate food and clothing, medical consultation or treatment for qualified beneficiaries unable to take care of themselves.

In the bill’s explanatory note, the senator highlighted that unlike western societies, Filipinos are known for their genuine respect and care for the elderly and do not merely consider taking care of them as an obligation but as a sign of gratitude and love. – Rainier Allan Ronda

SONNY ANGARA

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