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Cops should check houses for elder abuse, lawmaker says

/ 11:38 AM June 18, 2018

The Philippine National Police (PNP) should spearhead house-to-house surveys to find out if senior citizens are being treated well by their families, a party-list lawmaker said on Monday.

Senior Citizen Rep. Milagros Aquino-Magsaysay said, “Senior citizens often make headlines in crime news as victims of robbers, swindlers, extortionists, and rapists. There are also reports of prolonged inhumane treatment of elders who suffer from mental illness or failing physical health.”

As House Bill (HB) 6891 or the Anti-Elder Abuse Act has yet to become a law,  she said the PNP can already check houses to see how the elderly in the country are being treated.

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“Nilalayong tugunan ng HB 6891 ang ang matagal nang problema ito, hindi lang sa pamamagitan ng pagpapaigting ng parusa sa mga nang-aabuso ng nakatatanda, kundi ang mas mahalaga, sa pamamagitan ng pagtatalaga ng mga mekanismo para maiwasan ang pang-aabuso bago pa ito mangyari,” she added.

(HB 6891 aims to solve this longstanding problem, not just by strengthening penalties against elderly abusers, but more importantly, by instituting mechanisms to prevent abuse.)

She said the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, and Department of the Interior and Local Government should boost the implementation of senior citizen welfare laws by directing the PNP to conduct surveys on the elderly.

“While waiting for this bill to become law, we recommend to the DSWD, DOH, and DILG to jointly boost the implementation of senior citizen welfare laws by directing the PNP and all barangays, municipalities, cities, and provinces to conduct house-to-house surveys to find out if seniors in their localities are being treated well by their families and to give our seniors advice on how to avoid becoming victims of criminals,” the lawmaker said in a statement.

“These agencies are in the best position to find out first hand and on a massive nationwide scale the status of senior citizens’ care,” she added.

HB 6891, which was approved at the committee level last February 28, provides for stricter penalties against elder abuse.

Under the bill, elder abuse can take various forms such as financial, physical, psychological, emotional, and sexual abuse; neglect and serious loss of dignity and respect.   /vvp

RELATED STORY:
Laws to protect the elderly urged

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