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ABANTE: NAT’L SENIOR CITIZENS HEALTH CENTER NEEDED

A House leader on Monday thanked his colleagues in the Committee on Ways and Means for supporting proposals to establish a national health center that specializes in the care of senior citizens––something that is long overdue given the growing number of the elderly in the country––and for approving tax exemption provisions involving the said institution.

“A year ago when COVID-19 hit our nation, I pointed out that the vulnerability of our senior citizens to this virus serves to highlight the need for a long overdue national health center that specializes in the care of senior citizens,” said Deputy Speaker Benny Abante Jr.

At present 8.2 million of the country’s 109 million people are aged 60 and above, with 5% of our Filipinos 65 and older.

“Such a facility is needed now, more than ever, to ensure that elderly Filipinos can receive the specialized treatment needed to help them survive not just COVID-19 but a host of other illnesses and diseases,” added the solon.

The legislator from Manila pointed out that as overall healthcare improves, “more and more of our people will live longer lives, and with the growing number of senior citizens comes the need the address their specific medical needs.”

“In this regard, I hope that we can all work together to finally give our beloved elderly the care they rightfully deserve.”

At present 8.2 million of the country’s 109 million people are aged 60 and above, with 5% of our Filipinos 65 and older.

Projections made by the Commission of Population and Development indicate that the number of men and women aged 65 above is steadily growing and that by 2030 an estimated 7% of a projected 126 million Filipinos––or close to nine million citizens––will belong to this age group.

Abante is the author of House Bill 3939, one of the bills in the consolidated measure that seeks to convert the National Center for Geriatric Health (NCGH) into the National Geriatric Health and Research Institute (NCGHRI) and finally establish a fully-operational hospital that will cater to health services specifically for the elderly.

Funding for the NCGHRI shall be sourced from the DOH under the General Appropriations Act. Aside from these funds, the NCGHRI will also have its own trust fund composed of contributions from taxes, donations, and income from its pay wards.

The NCGHRI shall, among others: (1) equip, maintain, administer, and operate an integrated medical institution that specializes in geriatric health services; (2) provide and maintain affordable, quality, and timely hospital care through an efficient health service delivery system that prioritizes the need of the elderly; and (3) coordinate the various efforts and activities of other government agencies and local government units for the purpose of achieving effective approaches to the delivery of geriatric health services.

Funding for the NCGHRI shall be sourced from the DOH under the General Appropriations Act. Aside from these funds, the NCGHRI will also have its own trust fund composed of contributions from taxes, donations, and income from its pay wards.

Donations to NCGHRI shall be exempt from donor’s tax and will be considered an allowable deduction from the gross income of the donor consistent with the provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.

Aside from being approved by members of both the House Committee on Health and the House Committee on Ways and Means, the consolidated measure now heads to the Committee on Appropriations.

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