Santiago calls for probe on years of health of elderly-A A +A
Saturday, October 13, 2012
MANILA – Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has filed a resolution urging proper committee in the Senate to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation on the report from the United Nations Population Fund and Help Age International, calling on countries to pass laws that will extend the years of health of older people.
Santiago filed Senate Resolution 880 in response to reports of foreign news agencies that UNFPA and HelpAge had asked developing countries to improve medical provisions to extend the years of health that senior citizens can enjoy.
”The UNFPA reportedly commented that the government in developing countries have not put policies and practices in place to support their current older populations,” Santiago stated in her resolution.
Santiago said that the report warned that the skills and knowledge older people possess go to waste, with many of them under-employed and vulnerable to discrimination, abuse, and violence at work and in the home.
”The report also commented that many of the world's elderly also live in poverty and have difficulty accessing medical care, making them vulnerable to chronic conditions such as hypertension,” she said.
Santiago, who was elected judge of the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) in December last year, said the international agencies called for governments and the public to end "these destructive practices and to invest in older people", and called for wider use of basic social programs, including affordable medical care for elders, as well as the abolition of a mandatory retirement age.
”Congress should look into this report and create appropriate measures, as well as augment existing legislation, to benefit the country's elderly population,” Santiago said.
The Philippines has already existing laws that gives the elderly benefits and privileges the Senior Citizens Act of 1992, Act of 2003 and the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.
Under the law, the almost five million senior citizens, defined as resident citizens of the Philippines aged 60 and above, are entitled to 20 percent discount and exemption from the value-added tax on the sales of goods and services specifically transportation and medicines.
The elderly also have mandatory PhilHealth coverage, free medical and dental service, diagnostic and laboratory fees in all government facilities, a monthly stipend of P500 and for indigents, a P1,500-monthly stipend and free vaccination against the influenza virus and pneumococcal disease. (PNA)