Senator Juan Edgardo Angara is pushing for the passage of a bill that aims to put an end to any form of senior citizen abuse by providing stiffer penalties and strengthening institutional support for elderly victims.
“It is our duty to provide proper and adequate protection for our over six-million senior citizens. It must be stressed that senior citizen abuse is not a private matter but a public and serious one which should be a concern of the entire society,” said Angara, one of the authors of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act.
“Respect for our elders has been one of the hallmarks of Philippine culture and society. Sadly, incidents of senior citizen abuse still persist in our country,” he added.
Under Senate Bill 1012 or the Anti-Senior Citizen Abuse Act of 2016, senior citizen abuse refers to “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to a senior citizen.”
These include physical, sexual, pyschological and economic abuse as well as neglect or failure to feed or provide shelter and health care to senior citizens.
Angara cited a study by the University of the Philippines which showed that children of senior citizens are the number one perpetrators of abuse, followed by spouses and then grandchildren.
“Our measure also aims to provide institutional support to victims of senior citizen abuse with the hope that a more participative involvement of the society will afford our senior citizens more protection,” the senator said.
Such support includes temporary shelters, counselling, psycho-social services and recovery, rehabilitation programs, and livelihood assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the local government units.