Concerns of the Elderly in the Philippines
CLARITA R. CARLOS, PH.D.*
Ang patuloy na paglaki ng bilang ng mga matatanda
ay nangangahulugan din ng paglawak ng mga kaakibat na
isyu na dapat matugunan. Dahil ang mga matatanda ay
mahalagang bahagi pa rin ng komunidad, ang kanilang mga
pangangailangan ay dapat bigyan ng kaukulang pansin at
malalim na pang-intindi. Ang pag-galang sa mga matatanda
ay isa sa mga mahahalagang kaugaliang makakapagbigay
ng inspirasyon sa pag-unawa ng kanilang kasalukuyang
kalagayan. Ang mga isyu na hinaharap ng mga matatanda
ay malawak at magkakaugnay. Bukod sa pensyon, at mga
pangangailangang pinansiyal, mahalagang bagay rin sa
kanila ang kalusugan at ang pagkakaroon ng tagapangalaga.
Ang mga matatanda ay hindi dapat tingnan bilang
pabigat sa komunidad, sa halip ay maaari pa rin silang
maging kapaki-pakinabang na mamamayan kahit sa
pinakasimpleng paraan. Kailangang bigyang pansin ang mga
programa at patakaran ng pamahalaan na mahalagang
makakatulong sa kabuhayan ng mga matatanda,
kinakailangang malaman at maintindihan ng maayos ang
kanilang kalagayan at mga isyung kanilang kinakaharap at
ito ang magiging pangunahing layunin nitong papel.
* Professor of political science at the University of the Philippines. She has held various professorial chairs, namely, the Elpidio Quirino professorial chair internations relations. the Maximo Kalaw chair on peace and the CASAA professorial chair. In 1995, she received the most outstanding teacher award in the full professor category in the university. For many years, she has been consultant at the Philippine Senate in the area of foreign policy and security and at the Local Development Foundation in the area of local government capability building. Dr. Carlos also conducts research in the areas of political tolerance, foreign policy and environmental conflict resolution models. She is the current President of the National Defence College of the Philippines and the Chairperson of the National Coordinating Committee on concerns of Filipino Older Persons.
vol. 56 nos.1-4, jan-dec 1999
PHILIPPINE SOCIAL SCIENCES REVIEW
There were approximately 200 million persons 60 years of age and older throughout the world in 1950 as illustrated by United Nations estimates. Their number increased to 350 million in the year 1975. The projections of the United Nations indicate that by the year 2000 the number will increase to 590 million, and by the year 2025 to over 1.1 billion, that is an increase of 224 percent since 1975. The ageing population is projected to constitute 13.7 percent of the world’s population 45 years from now.1 The total population of the Philippines stands at 73,130,885 and the elderly population is considered to be totalling 4,280,364 or 5.8 per cent of our population.2
Respect for the elderly has always been the mark of Asian societies like ours. We put a high premium on preserving the dignity of our older person and put them in an exalted place in society.
Our history has witnessed the importance ancient Filipinos gave to elderly. During the pre-colonial period, the elderly were a source of wisdom. Customs and traditions were kept and passed by them to younger generations. Thus, their contributions in the enhancement of the country’s institutions such as government, family, education, and religion cannot be ignored.
Significant concerns of the elderly have only recently been offered serious consideration. Perhaps because of the prevailing view that the local population is generally a young one, the research community has yet to give close attention to elderly issues.
One of the issues is the security in old age. Poverty is perceived as an obstacle to a secured old age. As such, the current pension system in the Philippines requires careful consideration and evaluation. The government offers welfare services such as homes for the aged and Senior Citizens Centers to better address the plight of the...
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