A PROPOSED legislation that reflects the concern over the welfare of the country’s millions of senior citizens is pending consideration in the House of Representatives.
House Bill (HB) No. 809, authored by articulate Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe, seeks to advance the interest of the elderly by providing them with free legal services.
Otherwise known as “An Act Providing for Free Legal Assistance for Senior Citizens,” the proposed law seeks to amend Republic Act No. 7342, as amended by RA No. 9994.
Under the 1987 Constitution, it is the duty of the family to ensure the welfare of its elderly members while the government may design programs of social security for their benefit.
There is also the landmark “Expanded Senior Citizens Act” that provides a policy to adopt measures that would assist and appreciate senior citizens by the community.
“We want to assist the seniors in as many ways we can. Aside from giving the respect and dignity they deserve, we also want them to be accorded with fair justice by providing sufficient support of counsel in their cases,” said Batocabe.
We cannot overemphasize the importance of hastening the approval of the proposed legislation considering the increasing number of senior citizens across the country.
At present, there are 6.23 million senior citizens. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the number of Filipinos over 60 years old will increase by 300 percent in the next 30 years.
After years of working diligently for the benefit of their loved ones and the country, our elderly now deserve the support and understanding of the various sectors of society.
Thus, let’s foster the country’s senior citizens’ capacity for a more meaningful and productive aging.