Senator Win Gatchalian has refiled a bill that seeks to establish in every city and municipality a nursing home that shall serve abandoned and homeless senior citizens.
Under Senate Bill No. 950 or the “Homes for Abandoned Seniors Act of 2022,” these nursing homes will be operated and maintained by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in coordination with local government units (LGUs) concerned. LGUs, however, will be tasked to build these nursing homes.
Gatchalian’s measure takes inspiration from Valenzuela City’s “Bahay Kalinga” and “Bahay Kanlungan Tahanan Nila Lolo at Lola,” both of which provided home-like environments for senior citizens.
Bahay Kalinga, which was established in 2012, is a two-storey half-way home of 25 homeless or abandoned senior citizens. The four-storey “Bahay Kanlungan,” which can accommodate up to 90 elderly residents, was opened in 2021. Bahay Kanlungan has its own clinic, physical therapists, psychologists, nutritionists, and house parents who watch over the senior citizens 24/7.
While Valenzuela City was able to come up with solutions to cater to the needs of abandoned and homeless elders, Gatchalian said that the number of unattended, neglected, and homeless seniors nationwide cannot be ignored.
“Tungkulin nating tiyakin na ang ating mga lolo at lola ay may maayos na tirahan at nakakatanggap ng sapat na pagkalinga. Upang matiyak natin na ang ating mga lolo at lola ay nabubuhay nang may dignidad kahit nawalay sa kanilang mga pamilya, isusulong nating mapatayuan ng nursing home ang mga nakatatanda sa bawat lungsod at munisipalidad,” said Gatchalian.
Under Gatchalian’s proposal, nursing homes for the homeless and abandoned elderly shall provide comfortable living quarters, adequate food and clothing, medical consultation or treatment, health care, and counseling, among others.
Gatchalian was the primary author of this measure when he filed this during the 17th and 18th Congresses.