DSWD and the NCMB Mourns the Passing of Senior Citizen Stalwart, "Tito Peps" Ordonez
DSWD and the NCMB Mourns the Passing of
Senior Citizen Stalwart, “Tito Peps” Ordoñez
Senior Citizen sector advocate and stalwart, Jose P. Ordoñez, Jr. recently passed away at the age of 79.
“Tito Peps”, as he is lovingly called, was one of the founding members of the Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines or FSCAP, an early People’s Organization (PO) established by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) composed of our Filipino elderly nationwide. He served as FSCAP National Secretary and FSCAP Regional Representative for Region III (RSCAP) since he is a native of Bocaue, Bulacan.
As official FSCAP representative to the National Coordinating and Monitoring Board (NCMB), lobbying for the passage of senior citizens legislation and assisting in the drafting of Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the expanded versions of said laws. As a NGO/PO representative in the NCMB, he was also part of many consultation meetings and coordinating dialogues with different industries and service providers to facilitate the implementation of the senior citizens law. He was particularly instrumental in drafting relevant NCMB Resolutions that clarified many provisions of Republic Act No. 9257 and RA 9994 for business establishments. His tireless efforts of bridging the senior citizens and the private sector included many regional orientations and media interviews to increase awareness about the benefits and privileges of senior citizens under the Expanded Senior Citizens Act.
As part of FSCAP, he also served as senior citizen sectoral representative in the National Anti-Poverty Commission or NAPC for some time and participated in the drafting of at least two (2) Philippine Plan of Action for Senior Citizens (PPASC) 2006-2010 and the successor PPASC 2012-2016. He was not only a stakeholder, but an active partner of DSWD in all its endeavors in promoting the welfare of our senior citizens.
Mr. Ordoñez was likewise the Executive Director of the Coalition of Associations of Senior Citizens in the Philippines, Inc., also known as the Senior Citizens Party List for which he campaigned for until his very last days.
DSWD and the NCMB mourns this great loss of such an active partner in protecting the interests of the Filipino elderly. We shall forever be grateful to our beloved “Tito Peps” for all his contributions to the senior citizens sector.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 05 March 2013 14:31)
Health Human Resource for an Aging Philippines
Health Human Resource for an Aging Philippines: The Way Forward thru the Philippine Plan of Action for Senior Citizens (PPASC) 2012-2016*[i]
Good Morning. In behalf of Undersecretary Florita R. Villar, let me first congratulate Dr. Shelley Dela Vega and the National Institute of Health of UP Manila for initiating this very relevant and timely activity that will ultimately benefit our Filipino elderly.
Ever since the 1987 Consitution mandated that “the State shall adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development which shall endeavor to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all the people at affordable cost,“ with priority given to the needs of the “underprivileged, sick, elderly and disabled”, the Philippine government has taken clear measures to ensure that we progressively achieve such objectives.
With the passage of Republic Act No. 7432 in 1992, the first senior citizens law aimed at granting our Filipino elderly benefits and special privileges, the State has consistently passed laws that will recognize and maximize the contribution of senior citizens in nation-building. From RA 9257, the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003, we now have a much improved version in RA 9994, the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 with more medical benefits, discount privileges, free services and government financial assistance.
All these proud accomplishments were solidly anchored on sectoral plans for the Filipino elderly developed as early as 1999. Under Executive Order No. 266, the Philippine Plan of Action for Older Persons (PPAOP) 1999-2004, a five-year plan was formulated. Its successor, the Philippine Plan of Action for Senior Citizens (PPASC) 2006-2010 served as a guide for all government agencies, local government units, civil society organizations and other stakeholders in planning, policy formulation, and program development to promote and protect the rights and welfare of senior citizens.
Now, with the next 5-year plan, PPASC 2012-2016, it builds on the enhancement of strategies and programs and strengthening the collaboration among various stakeholders towards a more effective and efficient service delivery for senior citizens. It is still focused on the three (3) major areas of concern in ageing, namely: 1) senior citizens and development, 2) advancing health and well-being into old age, and 3) ensuring enabling and supporting environments, and relies on international, regional and national legal bases. It also spells out strategies, programs and projects contributing to the attainment of the Millenium Development Goals as well as the Philippine Development Plan.
Conscious of the feedback obtained during the assessment-workshops of PPASC 2006-2010, and sensitive to the emerging trends and issues relevant to elderly care, particular attention was given to providing concrete recommendations on improving capacities on geriatric and gerontology services.
First of these measures was the recommendation to develop more medical practitioners proficient in geriatric care, considering the very small number of specialists currently working in the field of geriatrics and gerontology. More importantly, there is a need to institutionalize a basic geriatric subject in the medical and nursing curricula. Noting the fact that caregiver’s skills training is regulated by the TESDA and is merely by accreditation and not licensed by the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC), specialized seminars and trainings by academic institutions like Miriam College, and hospitals with solid geriatric departments like St. Lukes, Manila Doctors, and UP PGH, are actually encouraged.
Similarly, as highlighted in the PPASC, an important policy issue which the Department is currently looking into is the prevention of elderly abuse. Hence, together with appropriate legislative advocacy and lobbying for an anti-elderly abuse legislation, the subject of improving standards and other accreditation requirements for facilities and institutions that cater to senior citizen clientele is being given attention by the DSWD. Of note here, is that only government-run and NGO-operated centers, residential and group homes are subject to DSWD standards, but privately-run, for-profit nursing homes are not specifically under any government agency’s particular jurisdiction. In addition, while the existing policy is for de-institutionalization and for reintegration of the elderly to their own family environments, it appears that for extreme cases, specialized care in proper health facilities is in the best interest and welfare of the elderly. All these are policy questions duly raised and must be extensively discussed for appropriate interventions to be developed.
With the PPASC 2012-2016, it is hoped that all agencies and stakeholders remain committed to achieving these goals and undertake genuine efforts to address these needs of our Filipino elderly.
Thank you very much.
[i] Speech Delivered as Keynote Address in behalf of DSWD Undersecretary Florita R. Villar at the 1st RTD on “Health Human Resource for an Aging Philippines: Current Situation and Needs Assessment” by the National Institute of Health, UP Manila last February 7, 2013.
Death Benefit Assistance for Senior Citizens Now Being Implemented
Under Republic Act No. 9994 otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, Filipino senior citizens are entitled to an additional government assistance provided as a “Death Benefit Assistance”. The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) explicitly stated that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) shall issue the proper guidelines to implement this benefit.
Earlier this year, the joint DSWD-DILG Memorandum Circular No. 1, Series of 2012 was finally signed by both Department Secretaries and was issued to guide local government units (LGUs) primarily tasked to grant the P2,000 Death Benefit Assistance for Indigent Senior Citizens.
In the Memorandum Circular, a minimum P2,000 death benefit assistance shall be given to the survivors of the deceased senior citizens, but some more affluent LGUs can give a higher amount if their resources allow them, especially since this amount shall be taken from their Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA). Similarly, this benefit assistance particularly targets the indigent senior citizens as beneficiaries, but some more capable LGUs can grant this to non-indigent seniors as well.
Admittedly, this benefit ultimately redounds to the benefit of the families and relatives of the deceased senior citizen to cover some funeral and burial expenses. As such, there will be some documentary requirements required of family members to prove their affiliation to the deceased. On the other hand, if the deceased senior citizen was cared for by a non-relative towards the end of his or her days, that person may still avail of said P2,000 death benefit if certified by local authorities like the barangay officials and the city/municipality social workers.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 25 September 2012 02:21)
New DOH Supplemental Guidelines Issued to Implement Medical Discounts for Senior Citizens
This June 2012, the Omnibus Guidelines on Discounted Medical Purchases, Hospitalization and other Health Services was issued by the Department of Health (DOH) as Administrative Order No. 2012-007.
As provided for under Republic Act No. 9994 and its implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), Filipino senior citizens are entitled to a range of medical benefits and health privileges subject to supplemental guidelines to be issued by the DOH.
While substantially similar to previous DOH Administrative Orders No. 171 and 177, RA 9994 had a few additions and some clarifications from the National Coordinating and Monitoring Board (NCMB) required an updated version of the DOH AOs.
Some clarifications included the provision stating that “all medical devices (implants, supplies, kits, equipment including the use of radiation devices, dental, and laboratory, hospital implement or apparatus) used/consumed during check-up or confinement of a senior citizen regardless of the number of days of stay.” Moreover, “all medical devices to be used at home, or for monitoring of a particular ailment or disease, or to aid the maintenance of a treatment shall also be covered by the 20% discount and 12% VAT exemption, (i.e., cane, crutches, adult diaper, wheelchair, commode chair, bed pan, body support, fracture sock, medical support stockings, oxygen therapy unit (gauge, tank set), IV fluid and stand, forceps, swabs, urine bag, catheter, glucometer, insulin syringe ad needle, thermometer, blood pressure apparatus, dialyzer, gloves, cotton, gauze, dressing, mask)”.
Also integrating previous NCMB resolutions and DOH policies on properly apprising seniors of prices and fees, the AO likewise states that “all govt health facilities shall display in a conspicuous area the hospital room rates, laboratory and diagnostic test fees, prices of medicines and all other fees and rates in strategic places in the health facility x x x The above-described price lists shall be regularly updated.”
Of significance are certain new provisions including the following: “A hospital bed in a private hospital is deemed medically necessary to diagnose and treat an illness or injury shall be granted 20% discount. x x x The available room and board accommodation deemed as medically necessary shall be granted 20% discount. All existing privileges that are currently part of a hospital bed shall also accrue to the senior citizen.”
Availment of the 20% senior citizens discounts and Philhealth coverage was also clarified as, “In case the SC is a Philhealth member/dependent, (total bill less the 20% SC discount) only 80% of the fees/charges that the SC is expected to shoulder shall be charged to the Philhealth coverage.”
Other new provisions include the non-requirement of a doctor’s prescription for discounted purchases of Over-the-Counter (OTC) drugs limited to just one-week supply.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 25 September 2012 02:25)
‘P500 monthly will keep me healthy so I can still work and earn a little’
Nanay Virginia Climaco Logarta is eighty. She has nine children, but she shares that none of them can support her because of poverty. She was left to care for herself, to survive the last years of her life alone.
Nanay Virginia was born and raised in Barangay Bangkerohan, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. Despite her frail figure, she is a strong and determined woman. She takes care of her two ten-year-old twin apos, whom she took under her care after her son, the father left almost ten years ago.
But life has not always been easy for her. For as long as she could remember, she was struggling to survive. She was left with no pension, no means to support her.
Even in her old age, she still does crochet despite shaking, but determined fingers. Her woven products are sold to the market, albeit very occasionally, for a very meager price of about Php50.00 to Php100.00. She can barely sustain her own needs, much more that of her two grandchildren. She fears that one day, when old-age illnesses such as her diabetes have taken their toll, she and her grandchildren might possibly starve to death.
When matters seemed bleak, news of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s social pension program revived her hope.
“Ya puede iyo uwi con este program na OSCA na de amon barangay. Bien alegre gad iyo por causa mas quin paquilaya, allevia un poquito mio bida,” (I heard about the program from our OSCA in our barangay. I am so happy that even in just a little amount, my plight will be alleviated) shares Nanay Virginia in Chabacano.
True enough, Php500.00 is a very little amount. But Nanay Virginia shares it is enough to cover expenses such as food, and medicines needed to keep her well. The amount is much of a blessing, and she foresees that life would not be as difficult anymore.
by: F.O IX, DSWD
Last Updated (Friday, 28 October 2011 08:21)