Lawmaker bats for approval of bill vs. abuse, neglect of senior citizens
MANILA, Philippines – Muntinlupa City Rep. Ruffy Biazon is hoping that the 18th Congress would pass a bill that will penalize individuals who abuse and neglect senior citizens.
Biazon refiled House Bill No. 4980 last Oct. 1, coinciding with the observance of the Elderly Filipino Week.
He filed the same measure in the 17th Congress, but the same was not passed.
“I am hoping that this time around, the 18th Congress will take action to show that we truly uphold the welfare of the elderly by going beyond mere commemoration of the Week of the Filipino Elderly by putting into law the protection they need against violence and abuse,” Biazon said in a statement Thursday.
The bill defines violence against the elderly as “an act or series of acts committed by any person against an elderly which result in or likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse including threats of such acts, battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty.”
The proposed law also penalizes the neglect and exploitation of the elderly.
Neglect, as defined by the bill, is the failure of the person tasked with caring for the elderly to “provide care, supervision and services necessary to maintain the elderly person’s physical and mental health, including, but not limited to, food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, supervision, medicine, and medical services that a prudent person would consider essential for the well being of the elderly person.”
Exploitation, meanwhile, is committed when a person “knowingly, by deception or intimidation, obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or use, an elderly person’s funds, assets or property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the elderly person of use, benefit or possession of the funds, assets or property or to benefit someone other than the elderly person.”
Under the bill, violators will face imprisonment and will also be fined from P100,000 to P300,000.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson has filed a related bill (Senate Bill No. 29) in the upper chamber.
Lacson’s bill will penalize children who abandon their old and ailing parents.
In the Senate bill, a parent who is in need of support may file a petition for support before the court and pray for the issuance of a support order in caser their children fail or refuse to provide the necessary support. /gsg
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