‘Techie’ senior citizens? Why not says youth solon

SENIOR citizens can now be as “techie” as the younger generation as Rep. Raymond “Mong” Palatino of Kabataan Party-list today filed in Congress a bill seeking to provide computer literacy training for senior citizens.

According to Palatino, “Not only our youth but also our senior citizens should be armed with computer literacy which will help them keep abreast of technological developments. The Constitution mandates the care for our senior citizens  and one form of ensuring that is through the creation of programs that will aid them in becoming ‘techie’ or technology savvy.”

House Bill no. 4197, also known as  the “Computer Literacy Training for Senior Citizens Act”, is part of Kabataan Party-list’s literacy programs which the group has extended to include the elderly.

The bill entitles senior citizens to receive educational assistance to pursue basic computer literacy training in public and private schools.

“A lot of our senior citizens feel that they can no longer cope with the fast-changing times as new forms of technology-related developments constantly emerge. One such development is the increase in the use of computers  and the internet for communication, work, and entertainment purposes. This makes it all the more important for our elders to have training in these forms of technology,” Palatino said.

Palatino also clarified that providing computer literary to elders does not aim to replace actual inter-personal relations, an occurring tendency in this age of technology as noted by many scholars.

“We want our elders to be equipped with computer knowledge and skills. That is not the same as prodding them to be consumed by  computers and the internet. I find it disconcerting, for example, that a lot of people now consider that it is more important to have more Facebook friends than actual friends,” Palatino said.

Palatino also noted that government still has a lot to do in terms of democratizing the people’s access to technology.

“For our country and the people to fully benefit from technology, then the government should make it accessible to all. Sadly, that is not the case at present. To access available technologies the people have to shell out money, something that the majority does not have in abundance”

“This bill serves as a concrete, albeit small, step in reaching that stage wherein the people have full democratized access to technology,” Palatino said

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