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ASEAN should start talks on ageing population, says Marcos

LABUAN BAJO - The Association of Southeast Asian nations (ASEAN) should start discussions on the concerns of the ageing population, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said Wednesday.

During the opening of the ASEAN 2023 plenary session, Marcos pointed out that decades of sustained economic growth and prosperity have resulted in longer life spans in the region.

"According to the Asian Development Bank, one out of four people in the Asia Pacific will be over the age of 60 by the year 2050," Marcos said.

"I think therefore it is time that ASEAN should start discussing the concerns of an ageing population, consistent with the ASEAN tradition of valuing our elders. We must view this, all this as opportunity and as a challenge, especially in terms of adequate social benefits on the one hand and social empowerment on the other," he added.

Marcos said ASEAN goals and work plans should ensure the health of the elders as well as a "safe and dignified, and productive life" for them.

The ADB said the population of older persons — or those aged over 60 — in Asia and the Pacific will triple between 2010 and 2050, reaching close to 1.3 billion.

"This demographic transition will have wide social and economic consequences on the region with implications ranging from the ways cities and communities are built and organized; the delivery and organization of health and social services; work, employment and social security as well as supportive fiscal policies," the ADB said.

"Recognizing and maximizing the social and economic contributions of the older population will be required for sustainable development," it added. —KBK, GMA Integrated News