The elderly should be given priority seats in public transport vehicles including air and sea, with the seats closest to entrance doors reserved for them, Sen. Grace Poe said on Tuesday.
Senate Bill (SB) 1367 that she has filed proposes the priority seating for the senior citizens in jeepneys, buses, trains and airplanes
Batas Pambansa 344 or the Accessibility Law mandates that posters or stickers shall be posted on public transport to generate awareness of the rights and needs of persons with disability that includes the marking of priority seats for the PWD.
Such rule, however, is absent in the Expanded Senior Citizens Law despite it having been amended several times, according to Poe, who heads the Senate Committee on Public Services,
“In fact, the latest iteration of the law under Republic Act 9994 merely states that the Department of
Transportation shall develop a program to assist senior citizens to fully gain access to public transport facilities,” the senator said, referring to the law that amended the Expanded Senior Citizens Act.
Currently, Poe noted, there are reserved seats for the elderly in land transportation.
But there are “no hard rules” mandating the designation of priority seating for the senior citizens in air and sea transport.
According to SB 1367, elderly citizens cannot be forced to transfer seats in commercial air and sea vessels without one week of prior notice.