More research on aging pushed
MANILA, Philippines—A government official has pledged support for the establishment of a center for research and advocacy on older persons and aging.
Senator Edgardo Angara, author of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act, said this center will be a source of quality studies for the growing number of senior citizens in the country.
Philippine census data of 2000 shows that there are 4.6 million Filipinos aged 60 years old and above, accounting for 5.97 percent of the country’s population.
Statisticians project that the country’s senior citizens population is expected to hit 7 million in 2010 and is set to double in the next 16 years.
Angara said the studies would then drive the senior citizens’ advocacies and demands.
“The Senior Citizens Law provides a clear avenue for the State in affording social security to our older persons. Why is it not enforced better? Because our senior citizens do not wield enough clout and lobbying power and pressure on the politicians,” the senator said during the National Academy of Science and Technology roundtable discussion.
Among possible advocacies could be on health care, as a survey conducted by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health in 2000 showed that about 92.5 percent of the Filipino elderly do not have health insurance.
“Our initial data reveal that there are gaps in our policies and programs for our older persons. The quality of data also reveals that we need a constant source of information and data on our senior citizens to pave way for better policies and efficient programs,” Angara said.
“I am willing to fund that kind of institution who will look at all aspects of aging, including the study of the brains, of memory, and learning,” he added.