Laws to protect the elderly urged
MANILA, Philippines—With the growing number of aging Filipinos, various sectors are calling for the passage of laws to protect the elderly against abuse, described by many as a “hidden disease.”
At the commemoration of the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Quezon City last week, experts noted how senior citizens are constrained by shame to admit to being victims of abuse from members of their own families.
These come in the form of verbal abuse, negligence and the elderly member being forced to continue earning a living for a dependent family. This abuse continues to be overlooked, they lamented.
“A nation that does not care for the elderly will one day lose its soul,” said PIA Director General Jose Mari Oquinena in his welcome remarks.
“We should always, always take care of the people who have gone before us because they are part of our soul. They have given us what we have now as a country,” he said.
Oquinena said the wisdom of the elderly must be valued to produce better generations.
“If we cannot prevent abuses on those who are older than us, people who are more mature than us, a nation will not really find its soul or lose its soul and will not find its real path,” he said.
The Philippines has a population of people aged 60 and over of 7 million. This is projected to grow to 19.6 million by 2040, as a result of the lower fertility and lower mortality rates.
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