Nat’l Se­nior Cit­i­zens Com­mis­sion eyed for im­proved el­derly ben­e­fits

Manila Bulletin - - News - By CHARISSA M. LUCI-ATIENZA

Law­mak­ers are push­ing for the full im­ple­men­ta­tion of laws that would safe­guard and pro­mote the in­ter­ests of more than 10 mil­lion se­nior cit­i­zens na­tion­wide.

Se­nior party-list Rep. Fran­cisco Da­tol Jr. led the fil­ing of a bill seek­ing the cre­ation of a new Com­mis­sion that would en­sure that the laws ben­e­fit­ing se­nior cit­i­zens, par­tic­u­larly Repub­lic Act 9994 or the Ex­panded Se­nior Cit­i­zens Act of 2010 are fully im­ple­mented.

He laments that there is lack of co­he­sive­ness in terms of ser­vices ren­dered and im­ple­men­ta­tion of the pro-el­derly laws by the var­i­ous Of­fice of the Se­nior Cit­i­zens Af­fairs (OSCA).

OSCA is un­der the ad­min­is­tra­tive con­trol and su­per­vi­sion of the lo­cal govern­ment units.

"There is marked ab­sence of cases filed for non-com­pli­ance of the laws, and the ap­par­ent lack of proper im­ple­men­ta­tion, mon­i­tor­ing and en­force­ment," Da­tol said in fil­ing House Bill 6251.

Cur­rently, OSCA func­tions merely as li­ai­son cen­ter for se­nior cit­i­zens, con­cerned mainly with main­tain­ing a reg­u­lar up­date on the list of se­nior cit­i­zens and is­su­ing in­di­vid­ual na­tional iden­ti­fi­ca­tion cards.

Un­der House Bill 6251 or the pro­posed Na­tional Se­nior Cit­i­zens Com­mis­sion Act, Da­tol sought the cre­ation of a seven-man Na­tional Se­nior Cit­i­zens Com­mis­sion to en­sure that the re­quire­ments and needs of the coun­try's se­nior cit­i­zens are fully served and sat­is­fied.

Join­ing Da­tol in push­ing for the pas­sage of the bill are Speaker Pan­ta­leon Al­varez and Que- zon City Rep. Feli­ciano Bel­monte Jr.

"We have heard nu­mer­ous un­for­tu­nate sto­ries of se­nior cit­i­zens whose ben­e­fits and spe­cial priv­i­leges granted by law were not hon­ored, and their com­plaints against erring busi­ness es­tab­lish­ments re­mained un­acted upon," Da­tol said.

"The cre­ation of a sin­gle co­he­sive agency that will ad­dress the needs of our se­nior cit­i­zens, im­ple­ment and en­force our laws, and mon­i­tor com­pli­ance for the wel­fare and ben­e­fit of our more than 10 mil­lion se­nior cit­i­zens through­out the coun­try is of pri­mor­dial im­por­tance, " he said.

HB 6251 man­dates the Com­mis­sion to act as the spe­cial­ized agency that will su­per­vise the func­tions of OSCA and to strengthen the Ex­panded Se­nior Cit­i­zens Act of 2010, which de­rives its roots un­der Repub­lic Act 7432.

The Com­mis­sion shall be un­der the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent and will have its prin­ci­pal of­fice within the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion (NCR). It shall be com­posed of a chair­man and six com­mis­sion­ers.

The bill pro­vides that one per­cent of the lo­cal govern­ment rev­enues ap­por­tioned to the se­nior cit­i­zens by virtue of the yearly gen­eral ap­pro­pri­a­tions bud­get shall be re­aligned to form part of the funds for the es­tab­lish­ment of the Com­mis­sion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.