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Monday, September 26, 2022

AgNor Solon files bill Criminalizing Abuses Against and Abandonment of Senior Citizens, Creating 24/7 Senior Citizens Help Hotline and Help Desks

BUTUAN CITY –  Agusan del Norte Second Congressional District Representative Dale B. Corvera filed House Bill No. 5116, otherwise known as “Senior Citizens Protection Act” criminalizing Elder Abuse.

Corvera

According to a study of the World Health Organization, one in six senior citizens experienced some form of abuse in 2021. Cases of elder abuse increased as community quarantines made interactions between senior citizens and their potential abusers more frequent.

Under the proposed measure, any act or series of acts, or lack of appropriate action when the circumstances require, including threats of such acts, committed by a person against a senior citizen, which result in or is likely to result in physical or psychological harm, suffering or distress to the latter, including battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty shall be punishable. 

“The proposed measure recognizes the vulnerabilities of our senior citizens and aims to uphold their dignity by protecting them from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect, abandonment, exploitation, coercion, and other acts deleterious to their personal safety and security, or otherwise discriminatory”, Corvera said.

The bill also mandates the creation of a national Senior Citizen Help Hotline which can be accessed by victim senior citizens and concerned citizens free of charge to report cases of elder abuse. Likewise, it requires the creation of Senior Citizens Help Desk in every barangay manned by competent welfare officers, which shall provide immediate assistance to victims of elder abuse on a 24/7 basis.

“No one can exactly predict when an abuse will be committed against a senior citizen. Thus, it is critical to design and implement response mechanisms which will attend to the needs of our victim senior citizens on a 24/7 basis. Those who have access to phones can immediately report incidents of elder abuse free of charge via a national hotline, while those who feel more secure doing it physically may do so by going to the help desk in their barangays”, Corvera added. (Agusan del Norte 2nd Congressional District Office/PIA Agusan del Norte)