Senator Grace Poe on Saturday, May 15, appealed to concerned government agencies to help senior citizens find jobs and sources of livelihood from their homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Poe specifically called for more livelihood and training programs for senior citizens, to help tide them over the coronavirus pandemic. She said that they, too, “will make an integral contribution to economic development”.
The senator cited a report by the Philippine Statistics Authority, which supposedly showed an increase in the number of people aged 65 years and older who are seeking jobs.
“It’s a sad reality to see our elderlies looking for work despite the perils of COVID-19 when they should be staying at home and enjoying the fruits of their labor,” Poe said in a statement.
“Crucial intervention is needed to offer our senior citizens means of living that they can engage in without exposing themselves to the disease,” she added.
Poe called for an “urgent action plan” for home-based livelihood programs for senior citizens.
For instance, she said the Department of Education (DepEd) or the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) could come up with a program that will allow schools and training institutions to tap tech-savvy youth to aid senior citizens better understand and use technology.
“It could be a knowledge exchange. Our senior citizens can teach the young people traditional subjects and in turn, youth volunteers can aid the seniors to use and maximize technology. It’s a good synergy that will bridge generations and foster a tighter and kinder society,” Poe said.
The Department of Labor (DOLE) can also help link senior citizens to home-based livelihood opportunities.
The government could also tap the private sector to help elders cope with being at home and isolated, she added.
“The growing bandwagon of remote work or work-from-home arrangements opens an opportunity for our elderlies to find means of living without exposing themselves to the virus,” Poe pointed out.
“The government bears a heavy responsibility of taking care of our senior citizens. Working in their golden years should be just a matter of choice, not necessity,” she added.