BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance mandating a budget allocation for senior citizens, allocating at least one percent of the general fund of the city and requiring the implementation of such allocation next year.
The ordinance authored by Vice Mayor Edison R. Bilog stated the primary purpose of the measure is to require the local government to appropriate at least one percent of its annual budget which shall be allocated for worthy programs, projects, and activities of registered senior citizens residing in the city.
In support for the Philippine Plan of Action for senior citizens, Republic Act No. 7277 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, DBM-DSWD Joint Circular No. 2003-01, RA 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines, were enacted to improve the total well-being of the elderly and persons with disabilities.
Bilog pointed out all local chief executives were encouraged to allocate one percent of their respective budgets pursuant to DBM-DSWD Circular No. 2003-01 dated April 28, 2013.
Pursuant to Article XV, Section 4 of the Constitution, he noted that it is the duty of the family to take care of its elderly members while the State may design programs on social security for them.
Further, Article XIII, Section 11 provides that the State shall adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health and other social services available to all the people at affordable cost. There shall be a priority for the needs of the underprivileged, sick, elderly, disabled, women and children.
The proponent argued senior citizens belong to a special sector that needs preferential attention to promote the social economic, and spiritual aspects of the lives as well as allow them to convey their concerns and vital issues through the establishment of worthy projects, programs, and activities for them.
If for any reason, any section or provision of the ordinance will be declared unconstitutional or invalid, the other sections or provisions not affected by the declaration shall remain in full force and effect.
The ordinance shall take effect upon completion of its publication for three consecutive days in a newspaper of general circulation and posted in at least three conspicuous places in the city pursuant to the provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991.
The proposed ordinance will be referred to the City Council Committee on Appropriation and Finance for study and recommendation prior to the submission of the measure for second reading and for deliberation by the members of the City Councilfor final consideration.
By Dexter A. See