MANILA, Philippines – Agusan Del Norte Represetative Dale Corvera filed House Bill No. 5116 or the Senior Citizens Protection, noting that it is a timely need as lockdowns during the pandemic increased cases of elder abuse.
Corvera also cited a World Health Organization study, that states one in six senior citizens experienced some form of abuse in 2021.
Under House Bill No. 5116, acts or lack of appropriate action when the circumstances require, including threats of such acts, committed by a person against a senior citizen, which result in or is likely to result in physical or psychological harm, suffering or distress to the latter, including battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, shall be punishable.
“The proposed measure recognizes the vulnerabilities of our senior citizens and aims to uphold their dignity by protecting them from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect, abandonment, exploitation, coercion, and other acts deleterious to their personal safety and security, or otherwise discriminatory,” Corvera explained.
The bill also seeks to establish a National Senior Citizen Help Hotline, which can be accessed by victims and concerned citizens free of charge, along with a Senior Citizens Help Desk in every village open 24/7 with welfare officers.
“No one can exactly predict when an abuse will be committed against a senior citizen. Thus, it is critical to design and implement response mechanisms which will attend to the needs of our victim senior citizens on a 24/7 basis,” he said.
“Those who have access to phones can immediately report incidents of elder abuse free of charge via a national hotline, while those who feel more secure doing it physically may do so by going to the help desk in their barangay (villages),” he added.
Source: Philippine News Agency