Press Release
September 9, 2012


Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada urged fellow lawmakers to support and approve Senate Bill 3234 or the proposed Seniors Safety and Service Act of 2012 which aims to help combat crimes against, and strengthen government service and support mechanism for senior citizens or those aged 60 years old and above.

SB 3234 consolidated the different proposals in the Upper Chamber for the benefit of the elderly, and is up for the senators' plenary deliberation through the Committee Report recommending its immediate approval.

"This measure seeks to develop strategies for preventing and punishing crimes that target or otherwise disproportionately affect seniors, by collecting appropriate data to measure the extent of crimes committed against seniors and determine the extent of domestic and elder abuse. It likewise seeks to strengthen existing services being accorded to senior citizens by the government," Estrada, one of principal authors of bill, underscored.

The bill tasks the Department of Justice (DOJ) through the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), as well as the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) through the Philippine National Police (PNP), to conduct a study relating to crimes against seniors in order to assist in developing new strategies to prevent or reduce the incidence of these crimes.

This study shall include an analysis of the following:

  •  the nature and type of crimes perpetrated against seniors, with special focus on the most common type of these crimes and their nature and extent, and including health care fraud and other forms of abuse targeting seniors;

  • the risk factors associated with seniors who have been victimized;

  • the manner in which the criminal justice systems respond to such crimes;

  • the feasibility of establishing and maintaining a centralized computer database on the incidence of these offenses;

  • crime risk factors for seniors, including the times and locations at which such particular crimes are most likely to occur; and

  • specific characteristics of the victims including age, gender, race or ethnicity and socio-economic status.

The bill likewise tasks the DOJ to:

  • review current sentencing guidelines and recommend the possibility of increased penalties for persons convicted of offenses against seniors; and

  • account for any aggravating or mitigating circumstances that may justify exceptions in order to provide sentencing enhancements.

Also, the bill provides for strengthening of government service and support mechanisms for seniors through agencies of the government including local government units (LGUs) and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs).

It likewise mandates the establishment and enhancement of senior's desk in all government offices.

"It is my firm belief that the State should exert all efforts to protect and support our senior citizens who, collectively, contributed greatly to the development of our society during their prime, productive years and continue to do so up to now with their experience and wisdom. Providing them enhanced safety and service could be one little way for us to express our appreciation and gratitude to them," Estrada said.

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