The best interest and welfare of the elderly are yet to come should the bill filed by a neophyte lawmaker that will establish a home for the aged in every city or municipality becomes a law.
Parañaque City Rep. Eric Olivarez, author of House Bill No. 2379, said the government has a vital role at ensuring that senior citizens are provided a decent living notwithstanding the natural changes that they have to undergo.
Olivares noted that the elders, as they reach the peak of old age, become more vulnerable to health and safety risks and inevitably become less able to sustain themselves physically and financially.
“High regard for the elderly has always been a significant mark of the Philippines vis-à-vis other nations, and we are known for treating our senior citizens as important members of the society, never a burden,” he said.
The measure, to be known as the Home for the Aged Act of 2013, aims to provide for the physical, social and emotional needs of the senior citizen who needs assistance in a loving, caring, dignified environment through the establishment and operation of a home for the aged in every city or municipality.
A joint home for the aged may be established by a group of cities or municipalities with insufficient income to maintain its own home or having a relatively small population, making it impractical to establish and operate one home exclusively for its disproportionately few constituents only.
“Even our pre-colonial history tells us that our elders are often consulted for their wisdom and experience on important matters or issues regarding politics, the law, traditions and customs, and culture among others,” Olivarez said.
Under the bill, the city or municipal mayors shall appoint from among the members of the Sanggunian or Sanggunians, an administration committee for the home, subject to the final approval of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The DSWD, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and all the Local Government Units (LGU) concerned shall conduct an extensive information campaign for the public to know the existence and location of the Home for the Aged and the required qualification of the applicants.
The DSWD, in coordination with the DILG and all the LGUs, concerned shall promulgate the implementing rules and regulations for the effective and immediate implementation of the proposed law. PNA