COTABATO CITY – A measure seeking to establish an office recognizing the rights of senior citizens was introduced on first reading in the Bangsamoro Parliament on Monday, March 20.
Dr. Kadil Sinolinding Jr. filed BTA Bill No. 121, also known as the Bangsamoro Commission for Senior Citizen Act of 2022, which seeks to create an office responsible for ensuring the rights and privileges of senior citizens are respected and fully implemented across all government laws, policies, and programs.
According to Republic Act 9994, everyone who resides in the Philippines and is at least sixty years old is considered a senior citizen or an elderly person.
“This bill seeks to establish a mechanism for the beloved senior citizens, since all of us will turn 60 years old and become one,” said MP Sinolinding.
Recognizing that the elderly are an integral part of the region and Philippine society, the proposed bill also seeks to provide full support for their overall well-being and full participation in society.
According to Dr. Sinolinding, this bill will motivate and encourage senior citizens to contribute to nation-building; encourage their families and the communities in which they live to reaffirm the valued Filipino tradition of caring for senior citizens; provide a comprehensive health care and rehabilitation system for disabled senior citizens; and recognize the important role of the private sector in the improvement of senior citizens’ welfare.
The Commission shall, among other things: formulate and implement policies for the promotion and protection of the rights and wellbeing of senior citizens; conduct information, education, and communication campaigns to raise awareness on the rights of senior citizens; and review and recommend appropriate actions and policies to the BTA and Bangsamoro Government.
Under the proposed measure, the core programs of the commission include social pensions, centenarian benefits, and social safety nets.
A monthly stipend of at least P1,000 will be provided to low-income seniors under the social pension program to help with basic living expenses and medical care.
Centenarian benefits will also be provided to senior citizens who reach the age of 100, including a letter of felicitation signed by the President and a P100,000 centenarian gift in recognition of their longevity. The DSWD will present a posthumous plaque of recognition to the deceased centenarian, which will be accepted by the centenarian’s nearest surviving relative.
They will also receive social security assistance intended to cushion the effects of economic shocks, disasters, and calamities. This includes food, medicine, and financial assistance for home repairs. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)