3 bills filed pushing for senior citizens commission

 

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

Three bills—House Bills 802, 6251 and 7018—seeking the creation of a Commission on Senior Citizens, which now comprise 10 percent of the country’s population.

 

The bill seeks to institutionalize the benefits and rights of senior citizens (in the same vein the Commission on Youth is the children) with the power to hear and try complaints filed by the elderly within their jurisdictions particularly with respect to non-compliance on their rights and privileges (by organizations, institutions and society in their areas).

 

Rep. Ron Salo, assistant majority leader and Kabayan partylist, chairs the joint executive committee tasked to thresh out the details and consolidate the three measrues. His co-chair is Rep. Maria Lourdes Aggabao of Isabela’s 4th district, who is also vice chair of the committee on population and family relations.  Salo was tasked to represent the committee on government reorganization.

 

Salo said the joint panel is in the process of harmonizing the three bills and getting inputs from various agencies and resource persons, so the panel can properly construct every provision of the consolidated bill.

 

The primary aim of the creation of the Commission is to harmonize, coordinate and facilitate the delivery of basic services to our senior citizens who now comprise more than 10% of our population.

 

All three bills are in agreement on a senior citizens’ commission with a chairman and six commissioners and that they must be at least 60 years old. All three bills task the commission with the responsibility of implementing laws and regulations on senior citizens’ rights and welfare.

 

Though the Senior Citizen law, RA 7432 of April 1992, followed by RA 9257 and then RA 9994 provides expanded benefits and discounts to the elderly for their contributions to nation building. As such local governments designed programs and benefits for the seniors, some of which are very generous but for most LGUs, benefits are so few and discriminatory.

  

HB 6251 is distinct because it gives the commission quasi-judicial powers. It wants to give the commission the power “to hear, decide cases (and) complaints filed by senior citizens, and to impose penalties and sanctions in accordance with applicable laws.”

 

HB 6251 is also the most detailed among the three bills, so it is quite likely that it would be the reference measure for the consolidated bill. It was filed by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Rep. Francisco Datol, and Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr.

 

BACKGROUND

 

HB00802 AN ACT ABOLISHING THE NATIONAL COORDINATING AND MONITORING BOARD AND CREATING THE NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR SENIOR CITIZENS, AMENDING THEREFOR REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7432, AS AMENDED BY REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9257, AS FURTHER AMENDED BY REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9994

Principal Author/s: BATOCABE, RODEL M.; GARBIN, ALFREDO JR. A.; CO, CHRISTOPHER S.;

 

HB06251 AN ACT CREATING THE NATIONAL SENIOR CITIZENS COMMISSION AND PLACING THE OFFICE OF THE SENIOR CITIZENS AFFAIRS UNDER ITS CONTROL AND SUPERVISION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Principal Author/s: DATOL, FRANCISCO JR. G.; ALVAREZ, PANTALEON D.; BELMONTE, FELICIANO JR.;

 

HB07018 AN ACT ABOLISHING THE NATIONAL COORDINATING AND MONITORING BOARD AND CREATING THE NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR SENIOR CITIZENS, AMENDING THEREFOR REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7432, AS AMENDED BY REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9257, AS FURTHER AMENDED BY REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9994, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE "EXPANDED SENIOR CITIZENS ACT OF 2010" Principal Author/s: VARGAS, ALFRED D.

 

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