Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has called on the government to prioritize the safety of Filipino elderly who are at the highest risk of contracting the dreaded coronavirus (COVID 19) and cushion the impact of the “community quarantine” to them.
De Lima, who chairs the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, said health authorities should give extra attention to elderly people who are among the most vulnerable to acquire the coronavirus infection.
“In this time of the national public health crisis, our government should extend immediate and necessary protection and assistance to the most vulnerable sectors of our society, especially among the poor and elderly people,” she said.
“Our elderly parents are very much susceptible to all kinds of illnesses as they grow in age. Let us therefore exert earnest efforts to take care of them and shield them against any infection from the coronavirus,” she added.
Of the 12 cases of death, thus far, due to coronavirus infection, seven of them are senior citizens or nearing the age of 60.
The oldest fatality is an 88-year-old woman who had pre-existing hypertension and had died of acute respiratory failure, secondary to coronavirus.
The lady Senator from Bicol also asked the government to cushion the health, social and economic impacts of the month-long community quarantine imposed to elderly people, especially among their respective families who tend to their needs.
“As our country pays homage to our beloved grandparents this week, let us concretize our gratitude to them by keeping them safer from the adverse impact of the ongoing community quarantine,” she said
“Isa nga pong napakahalagang bahagi ng ating lipunan ang sektor ng mga nakatatanda bilang silang mga humubog at nangalaga sa lipunang ginagalawan natin sa kasalukuyan. Kaya naman tungkulin po ng bawat isa na protektahan at itaguyod ang kanilang mga kapakanan,” she added.
It may be recalled that De Lima has sponsored and co-authored Republic Act No. 11350 which was passed into law last year.
The law creates the National Commission of Senior Citizens dedicated in promoting the rights and welfare of our senior citizens.
Last month, she also pushed for the immediate approval of Senate Bill
(SB) 1319 seeking to grant senior citizens additional cash gifts of
PhP10,000 when they reach the ages of 80 and 90, aside from the
PhP100,000 they will receive on their 100th birthday.
“Buo ang suporta ko sa mga polisiya at programa na nilalabanan ang anumang diskriminasyon batay sa edad at kumikilala sa kakayahan ng bawat indibidwal na makaambag sa pag-unlad ng pamilya at ng bansa,” she said.
“Ang hangad po natin: Patuloy na bigyang-lakas at ikarangal ang mga nakatatanda sa pagsigurong napagkakalooban sila ng libre o abot-kayang serbisyong medikal, sapat na pagkain, maayos na tirahan, at higit sa lahat, respeto,” she added.