Long-Term Care for Senior Citizens-A A +A
Saturday, April 21, 2012
CAMARINES Sur Rep. Diosdado 'Dato' Macapagal Arroyo is pushing for an institutionalized and sustained provision of comprehensive programs and services for senior citizens.
"We must establish an institutionalized long-term care program for the nation's senior citizens to enable them to have dignified, healthy and secured lives," declared the Bicol lawmaker who is author of House Bill 827 which precisely seeks to do just that.
HB 827, which is co-authored by his mother, Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, expressed concern over the plight of countless senior citizens who have been abandoned and neglected by their loved ones and also find themselves unattended and helpless during their twilight years.
"We Filipinos are known for the unrequited care we give our elderly. In fact, this customary practice is one attribute that sets us apart from other cultures. However, sad to say, this generosity is oftentimes extended only to members of our own families," the Arroyos lamented.
Thus, they said, the State, as parens patriae, should take an active role in alleviating the plight of senior citizens, especially the unwanted and deserted. The proposed "Long-Term Care for Senior Citizens Act of 2010," among the first filed by the Arroyos this 15th Congress, remains pending with the Committee on Population and Family Relations.
"Not only is this consistent with our deeply rooted values, but more so, a visible testament to our government's commitment to alleviate the living conditions of all our citizens, both young and old alike," Dato said.
Dato noted the numerous dependent senior citizens who are either frail, sickly, suffering from disabilities, and have no other means to support their basic needs.
HB 827 outlines a National Long-Term Care Program Framework which shall embody core programs and/or services focusing on social welfare, livelihood/job generation programs, social insurance and social safety nets.
The program framework also deals with development programs that will allow senior citizens to remain actively engaged in as many social, economic and community activities as possible.
Integrated and innovative elderly-focused health and social services shall be made available at the local level with particular emphasis on disease prevention, health promotion and wellness of mind, body and spirit.
The mentioned programs shall contemplate the provision, among others, of homecare and hospice for the frail and dependent elderly, development and provision of geriatric training at the family and community level, and the mandatory PHILHEALTH coverage for non-contributory senior citizens especially the poor.
Also included is the provision of home nursing for the elderly, facilities for respite care, programs on counseling, professional guidance and emotional support and low-cost, community- based activities integrated into existing community health programs as well as strengthening of inter-generational relationships.
The amount necessary to carry out provisions of the proposed Act shall be included in the annual GAA of the year following its enactment into law and thereafter the local government units shall undertake the maintenance of the institutions established under the proposed law.
The proposed National Long-Term Care Program for Senior citizens shall be jointly implemented by the Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Health (DOH), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the various LGUs.
The National Inter-Agency Monitoring Board created under Republic Act 9257, otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act, shall take the lead in monitoring the implementation of this Act.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on April 21, 2012.