Sen. Go supports limitations on senior citizens’ movement

Published April 30, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Mario Casayuran

Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘’Bong’’ Go on Thursday expressed his support to guidelines that would discourage senior citizens and those with pre-existing medical conditions from leaving their homes given their vulnerability to the virus, subject to certain exemptions as the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) may determine.

(Office of Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go / MANILA BULLETIN)
(Office of Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Dahan-dahanin po natin ang pagluluwag ng quarantine measures dahil vulnerable sila sa sakit. Sana po huwag na muna lumabas ng bahay ang mga matatanda pati na rin ang may mga pre-existing medical conditions. Karamihan po kasi ng severe cases ng COVID-19 ay mga matatanda at ‘yung mga may existing na karamdaman na,’’ Go said. (We will slowly ease the quarantine measures because they (elderly) are vulnerable to the disease. We are hoping that our senior citizens and those with pre-existing medical conditions will continue to avoid going out of their homes. Most of those patients with severe cases of COVID-19 are the elderly and those with existing health concerns),” said Go.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon, 74, and Senator Panfilo M. Lacson, 71, said they and three other senators could not go to the Senate on their scheduled May 4 resumption of their regular session if a Department of Health (DOH) guideline barring senior citizens from leaving their home is to be implemented.

The three other senators affected by the quarantine restrictions are Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III (71 years old), Manuel Lapid (64) and Richard J Gordon (74).

Lacson said he is physically fit.

Go, however, suggested that certain exemptions might be granted especially for senior citizens who are gainfully employed and those needing basic necessities and health services, provided that there are no other available alternatives, such as assigning a guardian to do these tasks for them.

In order to protect the welfare of senior citizens and encourage them to remain in their homes, Go urged the government to exhaust all necessary means possible to assist and deliver to them their needs.

Go earlier urged the DOH to make sure essential medicines are available to senior citizens. He also reminded the government to properly implement Republic Act (RA) 9994, or known as “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010,” for the welfare of the elderly.

RA 9994 states that senior citizens are entitled to the grant of twenty percent discount and exemption from the value-added tax (VAT), if applicable, on the purchase of medicines and such other essential medical supplies, accessories and equipment to be determined by the DOH.