Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) senatorial candidate Win Gatchalian is set to push for the establishment of nursing homes for the neglected elderly and senior citizens nationwide once he wins a seat in the Senate.
“A law should be passed establishing a nursing home that will care for the elderly following the growing number of unattended, neglected, abandoned and homeless senior citizens in the country,” said Gatchalian, who is running under the Partido Galing at Puso (PGP) of presidential frontrunner Grace Poe and leading vice presidential bet Chiz Escudero.
Gatchalian, who represents Valenzuela City’s 1st District, earlier filed House Bill No. 4946 or the “Homes for Abandoned Seniors Act of 2014,” which would build nursing homes to displaced and abandoned senior citizens in the 145 cities and 1,489 municipalities in the country.
Gatchalian filed HB 4946 in his desire to replicate the success of the two-storey halfway home “Bahay Kalinga,” which was opened during his nine-year stint as Valenzuela City mayor.
Bahay Kalinga provides a home-like environment to the elderly, who are allotted P5,000 each for their medical needs after undergoing evaluation at the city hospital. Aside from the staff and nurses, a doctor visits the senior occupants weekly to give them a medical check-up.
“It is only just that the government provide care for its elderly members through programs of social security. The country would not be where it is today if not for the sacrifices of the previous generations,” said Gatchalian.
Under Gatchalian’s bill, nursing homes will be exempted from paying custom duties, taxes, and tariffs on the importation of equipment and supplies used by the shelters.
Such shelters would provide not only the basic needs of the abandoned senior citizens but also health care, occupational opportunities, recreation, case conference, family dialogue, and literacy education.
The nursing homes shall be built by local government units and be operated and maintained by the Social Welfare department. Funds necessary to carry out the measure shall be included in the yearly General Appropriations Act following its enactment.
“Rest assured that we will re-file our proposed measure on “Bahay Kalinga” as soon as we are elected in the Senate,” concluded Gatchalian. (Monica Cantilero)