THE government needs to protect the socio-economic and even political rights of the millions of senior citizens, including retired public servants and workers in the private sector.
Concerned state authorities, notably members of the two-chamber Congress, ought to foster the capacity of the elderly for a more meaningful and productive aging.
A pro-elderly bill, supported by the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) chaired by Franklin Quijano, is pending consideration in the House of Representatives.
Last August 24, a group of congressmen, including ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Erwin Tulfo, a former newspaperman and broadcast journalist, filed House Bill (HB) No. 8972.
Reports said the NCSC welcomed the filing of the bill, which mandates government offices and agencies and private establishments to hire qualified senior citizens.
Under the proposed legislation, at least one percent of all positions in government offices, agencies or corporations shall be reserved for the elderly.
Private firms with more than 100 personnel shall reserve at least one percent of their positions for senior citizens. Those with less than 100 employees are also encouraged to hire the elderly.
At the same time, the NCSC chair underscored the importance of transferring the senior citizens’ skills, experiences and even their wisdom to the next generation.
“Sa totoo lang, marami ang matututunan ng mga kabataan sa mga retiradong empleyado,” according to a military general, who served in Mindanao for 30 years.
He said a 60-year-old retiree, man or woman, is still capable of serving the country and people as long as he/she is healthy.
Like other well-meaning Filipinos, we cannot overemphasize the importance of speeding up the passage of the proposed piece of legislation.