Press Release
January 14, 2012


TOKYO, JAPAN --- Senator Edgardo J. Angara visited today the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, a research center founded in 1972 dedicated to gerontology or ageing research.

The Institute, considered the pioneer in the field of gerontological research, conducts a two-pronged approach to ageing interventions: biological and medical, and social and human. Their objectives include development of scientific prevention, of early diagnosis, of novel treatment, and the establishment of a reliable care giving system.

During the working visit, Drs. Naoki Maruyama and Ryutaro Takahashi explained to Angara the work of the Institute. Composed of 88 researchers with funding from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, they have discovered means for preclinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's, and the prevention of cognitive function decline, including diabetes and hypertension, through regular physical activity.

Other social interventions innovated by the Institute include the Research of Productivity by Intergenerational Sympathy (REPRINTS). As Dr. Maruyama explains, "the project was successful not only because we were able to promote physical activity among the elderly by having them read books to children, but based on our research it has also increased the 'giving-aspect' attitude of the youth to the elderly."

Angara expressed his hope that the Institute, a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaboration Center program, could provide assistance in setting up the Philippine Institute for Ageing in the country. He says, "This will be the first of its kind in the Philippines, and we hope you could share with us your expertise and experience in the field of gerontology so we could invest on better lives for the elderly of the coming generations."

Both Drs. Maruyama and Takahashi enthusiastically agreed to help, suggesting also other means of collaboration through research exchanges and field work opportunities for Filipino students.

"This will be the start of our close relationship in establishing a similar Institute in the Philippines, that could one day be a worthy partner to the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology," said Angara.

Angara, author of the Senior Citizen's Act of 1991 and National Health Insurance Act (Philhealth Law), has recently filed Senate Bill No. 2982 seeking the creation of a Philippine Institute for Ageing which will serve as a counterpart research center in the Philippines that will generate science and research-based solutions to guide policymaking on social, legal, economic and physiological issues surrounding ageing in the country.

He is currently in Tokyo, Japan for the recently concluded 20th Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum.

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