Monsour bats for protection of poor, elderly and PWDs

October 11, 2018

Heard that Makati City first district Congressman Monsour del Rosario will be joining the senatorial race for the 2019 elections.

Given that he became known for the awards he reaped as a taekwondo expert and for being a very good actor, many might be surprised to know that he is actually among the few who have filed meaningful bills in Congress. These are the kind that gives much-needed protection for the poor, the elderly and the physically-challenged citizens of this country.

Among them is one titled, ‘An act providing for a revised human organ and tissue donation and transplantation program and providing penalties for violation thereof, repealing for the purpose Republic Act No. 7170, as amended, also known as the  ‘Organ Donation Act of 1991.’

The other that has caught my attention is called, ‘An act granting senior citizens additional exemption in determining income tax, further amending for the purpose Republic Act No. 8424, otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue Code.’

Regarding his proposed bill concerning organ donation, Del Rosario noted  how in recent years, it has been reported that residents in poor communities in the Philippines have been lured into selling their organs in exchange for money. He said that most of these compensated ‘organ donors’ unfortunately end up being poorer than they were, as they contract other illnesses resulting from being unaware of the repercussions of their decision and the absence of medical care after the organ sale.

His bill thus proposes to amend the Organ Donation Act of 1991 to cover organ and tissue donations for transplantation purposes from both deceased and living donors. It entitles living donors to assistance and protection -- such as discrimination in the work place while at the same time, giving the donor and his immediate family priority in the event that they need organ transplant.

Meanwhile, in seeking additional tax exemption for the country’s elderly citizens, Del Rosario underscored that every taxpayer reaches a certain age where he can no longer claim any additional exemption for his dependents once the limitations to avail of the tax exemption become applicable.

This situation, he said, becomes iniquitous since income taxpayers who reach old age should be enjoying the benefits of their long years of hard work, instead of paying income taxes in the dusk of their years.

Del Rosario’s bill thus seeks to provide income taxpayers who are senior citizens, the privilege to claim additional tax exemption equivalent to the maximum amount of exemption allowed for dependents.

The good congressman has also filed a bill that would prohibit the use and/or obstruction of parking spaces exclusively reserved for persons with disabilities in all establishments, buildings, structures, by persons who are not disabled and imposing penalties for its violation.

In pushing for this, he stressed while a number of government and private establishments, buildings and/or structures have provided parking spaces in their premises, supposedly reserved for the exclusive use of PWDs, the same are, on countless occasions, being used and occupied by persons who are not disabled, to the detriment of PWDs and contrary to the exclusive nature of these PWD-reserved parking spaces.

Del Rosario’s bill introduces penalties for the brazen and wanton misuse of these exclusive parking spaces by persons who are not disabled since there have been no existing laws covering such.

Bullying also happens to be an issue dear to Del Rosario. I learned that as a child growing up in Bacolod City, he was often bullied by older children, since he was frail and skinny. This experience spurred him to learn martial arts on his own, mimicking the moves and stances of his childhood idol Bruce Lee.

After he became an accomplished taekwondo master, Del Rosario conducted numerous taekwondo clinics for children and youth from all economic backgrounds as an anti-bullying initiative in order to keep them safe in schools and communities.

Del Rosario has not trumpeted any of the bills he had proposed.  They are now pending in the committee level. Let us hope he makes it to the Senate otherwise, those said bills might just gather dust in Congress.

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Jokjok (from Aleta Buencamino of Tondo, Manila) --  Three men were introduced to a lady -- First Man: Hi! I’m Peter, but not the saint/ Second Man: I’m Paul, but not the pope/Third Man: My name is John, but not the Baptist/ After the three men were introduced, the pretty lady spoke -- LADY: Hi to all of you! I’m Mary, but not a virgin.

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