By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has vowed to ensure the smooth transition to the newly-constituted National Commission of Senior Citizens of the functions, programs, projects, and activities being undertaken by the department for the poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged Filipino senior citizens.
This, after President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act (RA) 11350, the National Commission of Senior Citizens Act.
RA 11350 creates the National Commission of Senior Citizens under the Office of the President, which will be tasked with ensuring the full implementation of laws, policies, and programs of the government pertaining to senior citizens.
Section 11 of the law mandates DSWD to transfer all its functions, programs, projects, and activities for senior citizens to the Commission.
As the government’s focal agency for elderly concerns, the Department advocated for the passing of the law, and it was among the agency’s priority legislative measures in the 17th Congress.
DSWD believed that there should be a specialized body that should solely focused on addressing the numerous and varied concerns of the senior citizen sector.
The Department emphasized that the Commission will guarantee sustained focus on the promotion and protection of the rights and welfare of senior citizens.
It will facilitate more effective coordination among government agencies implementing and monitoring laws for senior citizens and in addressing the sector’s emerging concerns, including the need for a long term care program and protection against elderly neglect and abuse.
In addition, DSWD will provide the necessary technical assistance to the Commission, especially in the crafting of the Act’s implementing rules and regulations.