Senior citizens have urged the government to rethink its decision not to allow people aged 60 and older to leave their homes in areas placed under general community quarantine.
In a 24 Oras report by Corinne Catibayan on Wednesday, Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. stressed that senior citizens are a big part of the country’s workforce.
“Hindi pinag-isipan masyado,” he said. “‘Yung mga kumpanya, ang mga nagpapatakbo mga senior citizen. ‘Di na lang magbubukas ‘yan. At marami do’n sa maliliit, malalaki, ‘yung mga executive rin mga senior citizen pati ‘yung sa Malacañang.”
Lawyer Romy Macalintal, 73, likewise said there are many senior citizens who can and need to work.
“Case to case basis [dapat], hindi ‘yung very arbitrary na sasabihing lahat ng mga senior citizens, hindi kayo puwedeng lumabas,” he said.
There will be around 10 million senior citizens in the Philippines by July, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Among them is 60-year-old Rosario Santos, who used to sell vegetables in Bataan with her 73-year-old husband.
Due to the quarantine, however, they have gone over a month with no income.
“Iniintindi ko po niyan ‘yung pagkain ng aking apo, pagkain na rin po namin… Doon (trabaho) na lang kami umaasa kasi hindi po kami makalabas, bawal po kaming dalawa. Napakahirap po na hindi ka naghahanap-buhay,” she said.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the government is already studying measures concerning senior citizens.
“Nagde-develop din ng mga rules para sa panuntunan na hindi naman totally 0 na hindi talaga sila makakalabas,” he said. —Julia Mari Ornedo/LDF, GMA News