UNITED Senior Citizens Party-list Rep. Milagros Aquino-Magsaysay is urging for the swift approval of her proposed law seeking to amend Republic Act (RA) No. 11350, also known as the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) Act.
She asserts that the NCSC has not demonstrated the capacity to fulfill responsibilities and duties regarding the senior citizen sector.
“We need to make amendments to the law to make sure that the NCSC understands its mandate and abides by it. We want a working commission, not a lame duck,” according to Rep. Milagros Aquino-Magsaysay, United Senior Citizens Party-list.
Under House Bill 9454, Magsaysay aims to strengthen the current law and maximize its effectiveness for the benefit of senior citizens, providing clearer guidance on the original intent of the law.
“I proposed amendments to the National Commission because there are many unclear aspects, such as their structural organization. Currently, they are not fully functional due to a lack of funds,” Magsaysay added.
Currently under the Office of the President, the proposed law places the NCSC under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), with the mandate to establish field offices nationwide.
“DSWD struggles to provide social services even at the municipal level. If they can’t handle just eight regions, they cannot function well. Let’s allocate funds for at least 17 regions with 12 employees per region for social pensions and other senior citizen programs,” Magsaysay said.
The proposed law also requires the NCSC to develop a comprehensive National Plan for the social protection of senior citizens, including the establishment of a National Database for Profiling and Referral.
Under Section 8, with the approval of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the Commission will have a structured organization, staffing pattern, offices, divisions, or units, absorbing responsibilities from the DSWD and addressing new concerns.
In the proposed amendment, the Commission is authorized to receive grants, donations, contributions, or gifts not covered by current laws.
Based on National Commission of Senior Citizens data, there are over 3.4 million registered senior citizens in the country.
Congresswoman Magsaysay hopes for the passage of her proposed law in the coming year.