Party-list solon proposes center for the homeless, abandoned elderly

THE absence of a well-developed social security system for senior citizens has prompted a lawmaker to propose the creation of center for the abandoned and neglected elderly in the country.

Rep. Godofredo Arquiza (Party-list, Senior Citizens) filed House Bill 6683 which seeks to establish a center for the homeless and abandoned senior citizen in every province in the country.

Arquiza said senior citizens are traditionally dependent on their children and relatives for socio-economic and physical support but sometimes they are abandoned by their children and relatives because of poverty.

“They are left on their own to fend for themselves, sometimes they roam the streets to beg for food or worse, because they could not afford permanent housing, live on the streets,” the party-list solon said.

The measure defines an abandoned senior citizen as a resident of the Philippines who is at least 60 years of age and who has been deserted, permanently or temporarily, by his relatives or persons who have general or legal responsibility over the person.

“A senior citizen is considered homeless if he lacks a fixed, regular residence or whose residence is a place not designed for human habitation or lacks the resources or support networks to obtain a permanent housing,” Arquiza said.

One of the functions of the center is to provide homeless and abandoned senior citizens with comfortable living quarters as well as adequate food and clothing.

Another is that the center shall provide medical and health care and occupational opportunities for those homeless and abandoned elderly who are still fit and willing to work.

The center for the homeless and abandoned senior citizens shall be operated and maintained by the Department of Social Welfare and Development in coordination with the local government units concerned.

“The establishment of the center will address the basic needs of these homeless and abandoned senior citizens, they are assured a decent and normal life,” Arquiza said.

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