Senator Lito Lapid has filed a bill seeking to institutionalize the establishment of nursing homes for neglected and abandoned elderly in every city and municipality.
In filing Senate Bill No. 1201, to be known as the Homes for Abandoned Seniors Act, Lapid recognized the immense contributions of our senior citizens to the growth and progress of the country.
Thus, to show appreciation, the legislator expressed that the proposed measure aims to provide institutionalized residential care programs and services, such as but not limited to, comfortable living quarters, adequate food and clothing, medical consultation or treatment, among others for the qualified beneficiaries who are unable to take care of themselves.
“Sa pagsapit nila sa takip-silim ng kanilang buhay, responsibilidad natin bilang isang lipunan na tiyakin ang kanilang mga karapatan at pribilehiyo, lalo na sa tama at maayos tirahan at pangangalaga ay naibibigay sa kanila.”
“Malaki ang naiambag ng ating mga senior citizens sa pag-unlad ng ating bansa. Kaya naman sa pagsapit nila sa takip-silim ng kanilang buhay, responsibilidad natin bilang isang lipunan na tiyakin ang kanilang mga karapatan at pribilehiyo, lalo na sa tama at maayos tirahan at pangangalaga ay naibibigay sa kanila,” the lawmaker said.
In the bill’s explanatory note, the senator highlighted that unlike western societies, Filipinos are known for their genuine respect and care for the elderly and do not merely consider taking care of them as an obligation but rather, as a sign of gratitude and love.
However, he also noted that cases of abandonment and neglect of the elderly in the country are increasing because of the aging population coupled with the economic reality of spending for the care and maintenance of the elderly which may become burdensome for households which do not earn enough.
“Bilang isang lipunan, polisiya po natin na alagaan ang mga taong hindi kayang alagaan ang kanilang sarili. Sa ganito, napananatili po natin ang kultura ng pagtutulungan at pag-iibigan sa ating komunidad at mapananatili natin ang lakas ng ugnayan ng bawat isa sa atin,” Lapid added.
Beneficiaries who have recovered from their illness and become well-enough to care for themselves may also opt to leave the home voluntarily.
The proposed measure likewise gives senior citizens the opportunity to reconcile with their families and return to their care. Beneficiaries who have recovered from their illness and become well-enough to care for themselves may also opt to leave the home voluntarily.
He explained that any beneficiary may opt to leave the nursing home, provided that the DSWD deems them able to care from themselves or that they are endorsed to their family or guardians who will take responsibility for their care.