Press Release
August 24, 2010

All Sanggunians and LGUs Must Have
a Senior Citizen Representative - Legarda

Senator Loren Legarda filed Senate Bill No. 1418 mandating the representation of the elderly in every sanggunian and in all the special bodies of all local government units.

"There is a senior citizen in one out of every five households in the country." Around 80% of all senior citizens are literate, 57.41% are household heads and 57.07% are gainfully and economically productive. These figures indicate that more than half of senior citizens have the capacity and the energy to participate in productive affairs in society. "

"Local policymaking bodies are the most viable venue for involving active participation of senior citizens since they tend to be less mobile."

"Studies have indicated that 95% of senior citizens have remained in the same city/municipality where they lived five years prior to the census."

"The State recognizes that senior citizens have their special needs that should be addressed through the provision of public services. This is evident with the passage of Republic Act No. 7432 entitled "An Act to Maximize the Contribution of Senior Citizens to Nation Building, Grant Benefits and Special Privileges and for Other Purposes."

"However, senior citizens have yet to be fully tapped to represent their own concerns and interests in public policymaking bodies."

The Legarda bill recommends that all Sangguniang Barangay, Sangguniang Bayan, Sangguniang Panlungsod and Sangguniang Panlalawigan shall reserve a seat for a senior citizens' representative who shall enjoy all the privileges and emoluments enjoyed by regular members of the Sanggunian.

Legarda concluded, "Senior citizens have a vital role in nation building. They have amassed valuable experiences as past or current leaders and prime movers in the nation's political, social and economic affairs."

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