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Lawmaker files bill penalizing violence against senior citizens

  • A lawmaker is seeking to impose penalties against those who have committed acts of violence against the elderly.
  • Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon has filed a House bill seeking to punish those who abuse or wholly neglect senior citizens.
  • A few days prior, Sen. Panfilo Lacson has also filed the Parents Welfare Act of 2019 to protect parents who were abandoned by their children. 

MANILA, Philippines—Days after Sen. Panfilo Lacson proposed a bill imposing penalties on acts of neglect against senior citizens, a lawmaker filed a related version of the measure in the House, this time, zeroing in on acts of violence and abuse committed against the elderly.

Photo from Panay News

Coinciding with the observance of the Elderly Filipino Week pursuant to the Presidential proclamation 470, Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon filed House Bill (HB) 4980 which protects the elderly against maltreatment.

“Violence, abuse and neglect of the elderly has no place in a civilized society and those who commit this should be penalized,” Biazon said Thursday.

Under HB 4980, violence against the elderly is “an act or series of acts committed by any person against an elderly which result in or likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse including threats of such acts, battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty.”

The bill also penalizes those who neglect or fail to “provide care, supervision and services necessary to maintain the elderly person’s physical and mental health, including, but not limited to, food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, supervision, medicine, and medical services that a prudent person would consider essential for the well being of the elderly person”.

Exploitation is committed when a person “knowingly, by deception or intimidation, obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or use, an elderly person’s funds, assets or property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the elderly person of use, benefit or possession of the funds, assets or property or to benefit someone other than the elderly person”.

Violators of the law will face imprisonment of varying durations, depending on the specific offense and a fine ranging from P 100,000 to P 300,000, also depending on the offense committed. 

Biazon stressed that the bill which failed to hurdle 17th Congress may finally gain traction this time to further protect the elderly as part of the vulnerable members of society.

Lacson’s version of the bill in the Senate, titled Parents Welfare Act of 2019, allows sick and aging parents to file a petition before the court to issue a support order against their children who have wholly abandoned them.

Photo from Rappler

Violators will be fined P100,000 if they were proven to have abandoned their parents for three consecutive months without justifiable cause.

The proposed measure also seeks to mandate the provincial government and highly urbanized cities to put up at least one “Old Age Home” to accommodate at least 50 elderly or incapacitated parents. -The Manila Times

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