Senior citizens numbered to 4.6 million based on the 2000 Census of Population and Housing. This comprise 6% of the population. The National Statistics Office (NSO) projected that the number of senior citizens is expected to reach seven million in 2010.
Similar data is mentioned in a recent Manila Bulletin news report which reads:
UP-Manila National Institutes of Health Committee on Aging and Degenerative Diseases chair Dr. Shelley dela Vega said the country’s senior citizens are expected to reach 7M by 2010 & double in approximately 16 years.
This caught my attention partly because my parents are already senior citizens.
By definition, senior citizens are those who are 60 years old and over.
While the Philippine population is dominated by the the young ones, it can not also be ignored that our population is getting old.
What is the implication on this?
I notice that the government is taking steps to take care of the elderly. There are legislations like Republic Act No. 7432 as amended by Republic Act No. 9257 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003.
Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003 aims to:
- establish mechanism whereby the contribution of the senior citizens are maximized;
- adopt measures whereby our senior citizens are assisted and appreciated by the community as a whole;
- establish a program beneficial to the senior citizens, their families and the rest of the community that they serve; and
- establish community-based health and rehabilitation programs in every political unit of society.
According to National Statistics Office,
- Half of the senior citizens were below 68 years old
- More than half of senior citizens were household heads
- Three in every five senior citizens who were living alone were females
- Low vision was the most common type of disability
- Majority were literate
May these data help us decern what to do next.