BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance requiring the City Social Welfare and Development Office, City Planning and Development office and the City Building and Architecture Office to study the possibility of constructing a Senior citizen’s Retirement Home within the vicinity of the ‘Bahay Pagasa” at Balenben, Irisan and appropriating P5 million for its construction.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Lila A. Fariñas stated that the proposed measure requires concerned offices of the local government to study the possibility of putting up a Senior Citizen’s Retirement Home within the vicinity of the city-owned Social Development Center in Balenben, Irisan.
The ordinance added if, however, the proposal shall be deemed inappropriate, unfeasible or improbable, then another location shall be identified, and the necessary changes and amendments will be applied accordingly.
The ordinance stipulated that the amount of P5 million will be appropriated for the construction of the Senior Citizen’s Retirement Home and in the event that the amount will be insufficient, the same amount shall be used as the local government’s counterpart pending a partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to supplement the inadequate funds.
The city Social Welfare and Development Office shall prepare the implementing rules and regulations in relation to the proposed ordinance and subsequently submit the same to the City Mayor and the City Council for approval.
Republic Act (RA) No. 9994 otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizen’s Act of 2010 provides that that national government shall include in its national shelter program the special housing needs of senior citizens, such as the establishment of housing units for the elderly.
Further, the law provided that at least 50 percent discount shall be granted on the consumption of electricity, water, and telephone by the senior citizens center and residential care or group homes that are government-run or non-stock, non-profit domestic corporations organized and operated primarily for the purpose of promoting the well-being of abandoned, neglected, unattached, or homeless senior citizens, subject to the guidelines formulated by the DSWD.
The law further stated that self and social enhancement services which provide senior citizens opportunities for socializing, organizing, creative expression and self-improvement, after care and followup services, senior citizens who are discharged from the homes or institutions for the age, especially those who have problems of reintegration with family and community, wherein both the senior citizens and their families are provided with counselling, neighborhood support services wherein the community or family members provide caregiving services to their frail, sick, or bed-ridden senior citizens and substitute family care in the form of residential care or group homes for the abandoned, neglected, unattached or homeless senior citizens and those incapable of self-care shall enjoy the same privileges.
By Dexter A. See