Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has welcomed Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso's move to encourage employers, especially fastfood chains in Manila, to hire senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
De Lima, the principal sponsor and co-author of the Senior Citizen Bill in the Senate that has recently been enacted into law, asked other local government units (LGUs) to follow suit and help provide more employment opportunities for senior citizens and PWDs.
"Ang paghikayat ni Mayor Isko sa mga fastfood chains na bigyan ng oportunidad ang mga senior citizens at PWDs na makapagtrabaho ay isang magandang hakbang para pagkalooban sila ng kakayahang mamuhay nang marangal at makaambag sa pagpapaunlad ng lipunan," she said.
"Hinihikayat din po natin ang iba pang lokal na pamahalaan at mga pinuno na gawin din ito alang-alang sa kapakanan at pagkilala sa karapatan ng mga nakatatanda at may kapansanan nating kababayan," she added.
During the recent signing of a city ordinance granting a PhP500 monthly allowance to senior citizens and PWDs, Moreno announced he already instructed one of his officials to order fastfood chains to accept senior citizens and PWDs as crew.
Moreno reportedly said that it would allow senior citizens who are still in good shape and condition, as well as PWDs, to have regular earnings, saying, "If Americans can do it, if Singaporeans can do it, if Japanese can do it, why not ManileAos?"
The lady Senator from Bicol said she also hopes for the full and proper implementation of Republic Act (RA) No. 11350 which establishes a national commission that would guarantee the promotion and protection of the rights and welfare of the elderly.
"We should ensure that the concerns of our lolas and lolos are properly heard and taken care of, from health to employment opportunities, so they can maintain their optimism and happy disposition in their remaining years," she said.
Signed last July 25, RA 11350 creates the National Commission of Senior Citizens composed of heads of different government agencies dedicated solely in handling the concerns of senior citizens and in ensuring that the Department of Social Welfare and Development create policies and oversight programs for the elderly.
De Lima, who chairs the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, also urged her Senate colleagues to support her Senate Bill (SB) No. 188, which seeks to transform the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) into a full-blown commission to address the gaps in promoting the rights of PWDs.
"I hope my colleagues can also see the importance of creating a national commission for PWDs and prioritize this measure this 18th Congress. Policies aimed at fulfilling the rights of the individuals with disabilities should be urgently implemented," she said.
Last July 2, De Lima filed SB No. 188 as one of her first 10 priority measures, mindful that PWDs need all the support from the government because they are prone to economic deprivation, and the expenses attributable to disability create an extra drain on resources.
Source: Senate of the Philippines