Press Release
December 3, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored the need to create a Philippine Institute for Ageing as he keynoted the opening of the 47th Annual Convention of the Philippine Association of Medical Technologists Inc. (PAMET).

Angara, author of the Senior Citizens Act of 1991, is proposing the creation of the institute to ensure that the country is prepared to meet the challenges of an aging demography through Senate Bill No. 2982.

During his speech, Angara recalled how he grew up in a medically-oriented household as both his parents were nurses. This was, he said, how he learned to recognize the importance of continuous developments in the country's health sector.

"One of the marks of civilization is how the government prioritizes healthcare for its people. Unfortunately, we have not invested enough in our health sector," he said.

The veteran legislator authored landmark health laws such as he Breastfeeding Act and the law creating PhilHealth, at a time when there were no health insurance experts in the Philippines.

Angara also explained that he was pushing to establish a research institute in the country dedicated to the study of the science of ageing. This, he said, would make the Philippines better prepared for the inevitable ageing of its population.

"I don't believe it is premature to study the effects of ageing on the human body. This is a very important field of research, as it involves studying diseases that affect each and every one of us," he said.

Moreover, the proposed Institute of Ageing would change the mindset and assumptions attached to this process.

"We will learn that ageing is not inevitable. Developments in health science have advanced to a point where they can prevent the destruction or degeneration of cells which is the main cause of deteriorative ageing," explained Angara.

According to Angara, this research center would teach Filipinos "how to age smartly: Not just living longer, but living better and becoming more productive in the service of our country."

Angara left an important message for the younger members of the delegation.

"This is a technologically-oriented profession. This field lies in the center of a revolution in information and communication technology or ICT, biotechnology, nanotechnology, even neuroscience," he explained, "So the future of this industry lies on the forward-looking and tech-savvy generation."

PAMET's annual conference brings together more than 3,000 medical technologists representing different chapters from all over the country. This year's week-long series of events enforce the theme of "Unfolding Opportunities Through Technology Innovations".

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