By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara on Tuesday welcomed the signing into law creating a National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) saying it was high-time that a national government agency dedicated to the needs of senior citizens would provide them the VIP treatment.
Angara was one of the authors of Republic Act No. 11350, which President Rodrigo Duterte signed last July 25, but was released to the media last Friday.
“…Our beloved lolos, lolas, titos, titas and for some, parents too, will now have a national government agency dedicated to their needs and concerns,” Angara said in a statement.
Angara said the creation of the NCSC sends a strong signal to the senior citizens that their welfare is of utmost importance to the government.
“Napakaraming sakripisyo ang binigay ng ating mga magulang para sa ikabubuti ng buhay natin. Ang nakakalungkot ay sa pagtanda nila, marami sa kanila ang napapabayaan na at minsan nakakalimutan pa, (Our parents sacrificed so much for our benefits. What is sad is that most of them were neglected and sometimes forgotten when they got older),” Angara said.
Under the law, the NCSC will serve as the policy-making body of the government on senior citizen affairs.
The National Coordinating and Monitoring Board, created under R.A. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 will now be abolished and all of the functions, programs, activities and projects of the DSWD (Department for Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged senior citizens would now be transferred to the NCSC.
“Sa pagtatag ng NCSC, meron na tayong isang ahensya na tututok sa lahat ng bagay tungkol sa kapakanan ng mga seniors. Kung may batas o regulasyon na hindi napapatupad tungkol sa seniors, ang NCSC na ang bahala dito, (In creating the NCSC, we now have one agency that will cater to all the needs of our seniors. If there is a policy or regulation for senior citizens that is not being implemented, the NCSC will take care of it),” Angara said.
“Kasama dito ang hindi nagpapatupad ng discount sa seniors; ang pag monitor sa pagbigay ng pension; at paniniguro na ang mga nangaapi sa kanila ay mapaparusahan, (This includes addressing complaints about not giving discount to seniors; monitoring the grant of pension; and making sure that those who oppress them would be penalized),” the senator added.
Angara and his father, the late Senate President Edgardo Angara, have long advocated for the rights of senior citizens. The elder Angara was the author of Republic Act 7432 or the Senior Citizens’ Act of 1993 while his son is the author of R.A. 9994 or the Act Granting Additional Benefits and Privileges to Senior Citizens.
Angara earlier filed Senate Bill No. 133, which seeks the grant of a 100 percent increase in the social pension of seniors.