Press Release
February 25, 2021

LAPID BILL SEEKS TO CRIMINALIZE DEPRIVATION OF SUPPORT TO ELDERLY, SICKLY, INCAPACITATED PARENTS

Senator Manuel "Lito" Lapid has filed a bill which proposes to criminalize the act of deprivation of support to incapacitated parents. Senate Bill 2061 reinforces the duty of children to take care of their elderly, sickly or otherwise, incapacitated parents. The bill further states that children shall, within their means and capacity, maintain support for their father or mother, who by virtue of being over sixty (60) years of age or suffering from a disease or disablity, are rendered incapabale of supporting themselves.

The bill also mentions that among the persons mentioned in Article 195 of the Family Code who are obliged to give support to each other are parents and their children. This means that the obligation to support cuts both ways-- parents must support their children, especially during the years of their minority and dependency; on the other hand, children who are already capable must take care of their elderly, disease or disability-stricken parents who are in need.

Unfortunately, abuse against an elderly, disabled, or otherwise incapacitated parent, which includes physical, sexual, psychological, emotional and financial abuse, abandonment, neglect and serious loss of dignity and respect, has become an "invisible issue" in the Philippines, according to Commission on Human Rights.

"Nakakalungkot isipin na ang mga magulang na nagpakapagod noong panahong malakas pa sila para masuportahan ang kanilang mga anak, ay kaya na lamang tiisin at abandunahin sa panahong matanda na sila. Wag sana nating makalimutan na hindi naman nagkulang ang mga magulang na ito sa pagsuporta sa kanilang mga anak kaya dapat lang na siguruhin ng ating gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng panukalang isinusulong ko, na masuklian man lang ang mga pagsasakripisyo ng mga magulang sa oras na sila ay matanda at mahina na," Sen Lapid explained.

Senate Bill 2061 states that when an elderly parent appears to be in need, he/she may, by himself/herself through a representative of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, shall initiate the filing of a criminal action against his/her children for deprivation of support.

The bill defines "support" as everything indispensible for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, and medical attendance.

Any person, who despite having the capacity, but neglects to maintain support to his or her parent shall be liable for deprivation of support to parent and shall be punishable by imprisonment of arresto menor as the minimum and arresto mayor as the maximum. There are also respective fines of not less than two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00) but not more than five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00), at the discretion of the court.

"Kung ang mga magulang ay pwede parusahan ng pang-aabuso sa mga bata oras na hindi nila nagampanan ang kanilang tungkulin na magbigay ng pangunahing pangangailangan ng kanilang mga anak gaya ng pagkain, tirahan at pagpapagamot, dapat parehas na proteksyon din ang ibigay sa mga magulang oras na tumanda na sila. Dapat siguruhin na mabibigyan din sila ng tulong ng kanilang mga anak na may kakayananan naman lalo sa panahong mahina, matanda at may sakit na sila. Hindi dapat hayaan ng ating lipunan na basta pabayaan ang mga magulang sa oras ng kanilang pangangailangan," Sen Lapid added.

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