By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte has signed into law the measure creating the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) to ensure the effective implementation of programs and services aimed to advance the elderly’s health and well-being.
Based on Republic Act (RA) No. 11350 signed by Duterte on July 25, it was reiterated that it is the policy of the State to adopt measures where senior citizens are assisted and appreciated, and provide services and activities beneficial to them and their families.
“The State shall promote the advocacy of and collaboration between different stakeholders and senior citizens to ensure the effective implementation of various programs and services, particularly on the development of senior citizens and advancing their health and well-being, and ensuring a supportive and enabling environment for the elderly,” the new law states.
Based on the new law, the NCSC, which will be under the Office of the President, will be tasked to ensure the full implementation of laws, policies, and government programs for senior citizens. It will also review them and recommend actions to Congress and the President.
The Commission will also be tasked to formulate policies for the promotion of the rights and well-being of senior citizens and raise awareness on their rights.
All functions, programs, and activities of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) related to senior citizens shall also be transferred to the NCSC.
The new commission will be composed of a chairperson and six commissioners, who will represent different geographical regions of the Philippines.
The commissioners will also hold office in their respective regions as long as the full Commission will meet at least once every month.
The chairperson and the commissioners will serve a six-year term without prejudice to reappointment by the President.
Members of the Commission must be citizens and residents of the Philippines who are senior citizens at the time of their appointment.
They must also be college degree holders or have relevant experience in the affairs of senior citizens.
They must also be of good health, sound mind, and have not been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude.
At least two Commissioners shall also be women.
The new law is the consolidation of House Bill No. 8837 passed on January 29, 2019 and Senate Bill No. 2159 passed on May 20, 2019.