Reelectionist De Lima vows to strengthen rights of senior citizens

Published October 10, 2021, 11:19 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Leila de Lima on Sunday vowed to pursue the welfare and protection of the country’s elderly citizens as she seeks another term in the Senate.

De Lima said she will make sure that the voices and concerns of senior citizens are properly heard and addressed as she seeks another six-year Senate term in the upcoming May 2022 elections.

“Bilang mambabatas, na isa na ring senior citizen, tuloy-tuloy ang pagsisikap nating tukuyin at tugunan ang pangangailangan ng mga kasama natin sa sektor na ito (As a lawmaker, and who is also a senior citizen, we will continue to help identify and address the needs of our fellowmen in this sector),” De Lima said in a statement which coincides with the observance of the Elderly Filipino Week this month of October.

De Lima is principal sponsor and co-author of Republic Act No. 11350 or the law creating the National Commission of Senior Citizens, which was established to ensure the rights and welfare of senior citizens in the country.

The senator is also pushing for the passage of Senate Bill (SB) No. 1973, o ang ‘Abot-Kayang Gamot, Bitamina at Gatas para sa Malusog na Senior Citizens Act’ which seeks to expand the 20 percent discount and Value Added Tax (VAT) exemptions for senior citizens on medicines, supplements, vitamins, formulated milk, and doctor-recommended herbal products.

The senator said it is important to recognize the contributions of elderly Filipinos in shaping today’s youth and molding them to be responsible members of the society.

She also said the Filipino people should work together to ensure an inclusive and just society for senior citizens that will allow them to thrive.

“Mahalaga sa atin ang pagtataguyod ng makatao at makatarungang pagtrato sa mga nakatatanda, sa paglaban sa diskriminasyon batay sa edad, sa tahanan man o sa trabahong kanilang pinapasukan (It’s very important for us to establish a just and humane treatment of the elderly, especially in fighting discrimination based on age, either at home or in the workplace),” De Lima said.

“Sama-sama, nagkakaisa nating tahakin ang isang patas na bukas para sa lahat, na may tunay na malasakit at pagpapahalaga sa buhay at dignidad ng ating mga kababayan, (Together, let’s pursue an equitable future for all, with compassion, putting importance to human life and dignity of our people),” she stressed