Respect for senior citizens highlighted in QC ordinance

Published June 11, 2018, 11:53 AM

by iManila Developer

By Chito Chavez

The Quezon City Council has declared June 15 as “Quezon City’s Elder Abuse Awareness Day” in support of the United Nation’s (UN) efforts to address the maltreatment of older persons.

(PIXABAY/MANILA BULLETIN)
(PIXABAY/MANILA BULLETIN)

In approving Ordinance No. SP-2670, S-2018, Vice-Mayor Belmonte stressed it is only proper that the city government, and hopefully the entire country, joins the international community in coming up with ways to stop elder abuse.

“Elder abuse is happening in our country and sadly, it remains one of the least investigated types of violence. It is time that we at the city government step up the campaign against this problem,” Belmonte said.

She noted that elder abuse is a global social issue which affects the health and human rights of millions of older persons around the world, and an issue which deserves the attention of the Quezon City government.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines elder abuse as “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.”

It includes the physical, verbal, mental, or material maltreatment of an elderly person, including but not limited to beating and isolation, and deprivation of food and medication.

Citing a study conducted by the University of the Philippines-National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG), Belmonte said that children of the elders rank highest in number in terms of perpetrating the abuse, followed by spouses and then grandchildren.

While there have been no documented cases of elder maltreatment in the city in recent years, Belmonte said this does not mean the city government will not do anything to protect the senior citizens from physical abuse, violence, neglect and exploitation.

“Respect for our elders has been an integral part of our Filipino culture but unfortunately we still hear of abuse, exploitation, and neglect of senior citizens. This must be stopped,” she added.

The City Council passed Ordinance No. SP-2670, S-2018 in accordance with Resolution No.66/127 issued by the UN General Assembly designating June 15 as the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, representing the one day in the year when the whole world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted to older generations.

Authored by councilors Eric Medina (6th District), Godofredo Liban II (5th District), and Elizabeth Delarmente (1st District), the ordinance mandates the city government to boost its public education and awareness program against elder abuse.

“Elder or senior citizen abuse is not a private matter but a public and serious one which should be a concern of the society,” it stated as it tasked the city’s Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) and Social Services Development Department (SSDD) to lead efforts to “safeguard and uplift the dignity and well-being of its senior citizens from the harmful and degrading effects of maltreatment and any form of abuse.”

Reports from the WHO disclosed that cases of elder abuse especially in developing countries are expected to increase between 2015 and 2030 due to the substantial growing population of older persons.

In its 2014 “Global Status Report on Violence Prevention’’ WHO reported that there are more than 895 million people aged 60 and over, representing 12 percent of the global population. By 2030, this is projected to rise to 1.3 billion or 16 percent.

In the Philippines, older people constitute 6.8 percent of the population in 2010 and projected to double in 2040.

In Quezon City, there are about 375,000 registered senior citizens.

 
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