Press Release
July 27, 2019

De Lima applauds signing into law of bill for senior citizens

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has applauded the signing into law of Republic Act No. 11350 creating a national commission that would guarantee the promotion and protection of the rights and welfare of millions of senior citizens.

De Lima, the principal sponsor and co-author of the Senior Citizen Bill in the Senate, said the new law would allow for the Filipino elderly to live a decent life amid the challenges that come with their age.

"Considering that aging comes with countless challenges that are not limited to physical restrictions, we need to ensure that the elderly are provided with an enabling environment that gives them equal opportunities and a platform that allows them to be openly heard and discuss their issues," she said.

"Sa pamamagitan po ng batas na ito, mas mapapagtibay natin ang pagpapatupad ng mga programa na magbibigay ayuda sa mga nakakatanda nating mga kababayan upang sila ay mabuhay ng marangal at makaambag sa pagpapaunlad ng ating bansa," she added.

Senate Bill No. 2159, under Committee Report 552, establishing the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC), was passed on third and final reading at the Senate last Jan. 28 with a vote of 12 and no abstention.

Signed by Mr. Duterte last July 25, RA No. 11350 provides a body composed of heads of different government agencies that is dedicated solely in handling the concerns of senior citizens, thereby abolishing the National Coordinating and Monitoring Board.

Under the law, a NCSC will be made available not only to ensure strict implementation of laws for the elderly but also to task the Department of Social Welfare and Development to create policies and oversight programs for them.

The NCSC shall be composed of a chairperson, and six commissioners who will represent and/or hold offices in the different regions in the country; an executive director shall also be assigned to manage and supervise the commission's daily operations.

De Lima, who chairs the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, said RA No. 11350 will remind the elderly that "they are not alone" and that "the society cares about them."

"As they grow older, senior citizens face a lot of problems or issues concerning their plight that are oftentimes remain unaddressed because the programs for their well-being are not properly executed," she said.

"Now with a specialized body catering to their needs, we can ensure the protection of the well-being of our beloved lolos and lolas, who have spent years working hard to provide their children and grandchildren with a good future," she added.

Official figures showed that there are 8.013 million senior citizens in the country in 2018 or eight percent of the total population. Their numbers are expected to increase to 23.63 million by 2050 as projected by the United Nations Population Fund.

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