Policy Brief: Safeguarding the Rights and Welfare of Senior Citizens Through Social Protection

This policy brief looks into the gaps in the key legislations created to safeguard the welfare of senior citizens in the Philippines, and identifies several policy recommendations that cover both local and national level.

Person, Human, Female

The Philippine government has put in place key legislations
to safeguard the welfare of its people and ensure the quality of their lives, even in old age.

For instance, laws have been passed granting discounts to senior citizens whenever they purchase medicines and basic commodities. They will also become mandatory members of the country’s national health insurance programme the moment they reach the age of 60. Indigent senior citizens, meanwhile, also receive additional assistance in the form of a social pension. Still, members of the sector saw several gaps in the implementation of these programmes.

For example, they pointed out that the amount they are receiving under the Social Pension Programme is already insufficient to pay for their maintenance medicines and daily subsistence, especially given the recent increases in the prices of goods and services. The discounts were neither helpful: small grocery stores and pharmacies in poor municipalities refuse to slash prices, saying only the big ones and more affluent cities can offer the discounts. Lastly, lack of awareness on the government’s programmes and services remain to be a problem for members of the sector, especially for those who live in far-flung areas where access to information remain elusive.

These gaps, along with several policy recommendations that cover both local and national level, are presented in this policy brief.

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