Permanent Representative Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. highlights the Philippines’ effort to support the elderly and calls for more productive cooperation with CHR
23 July 2018, New York – The Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York co-sponsored a panel discussion on the work of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) with regard to the rights of older persons, held at the sidelines of the 9th Session of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWGA).
The event was a platform to discuss the existing issues for the protection of the rights of older persons, specifically in terms of long-term and palliative care, and provide recommendations on how Member States can better work in partnership with NHRIs.
In his opening statement, Ambassador Locsin stated that ageing in grace and comfort is a common human aspiration. Ageing is inevitable, and this inevitability impels a collective motivation to care for our ageing population. He noted that ageing independently in one’s own place is a Filipino tradition. With a unique and able social system of care from birth to death, Filipino family cares not only for elderly parents and grandparents but also other relatives, if necessary. Thus, many Filipinos go on to make a living out of caring for others, not only in the Philippines but also in other countries.
Ambassador Locsin cited the various efforts of the Philippine government to support the elderly, including sustained implementation of the social protection programs, laws penalizing age discrimination in employment, establishment of income generating projects, updated guidelines on the care of the elderly, upgraded public healthcare facilities, and the five-year framework plan for senior’s health and wellness. He stated that more areas of productive cooperation with Commission on Human Rights is encouraged.
Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines gave a presentation on the mandate, programs and activities of the CHR for senior citizens. She mentioned that CHR is working towards increasing social pensions for senior citizens, considering that in many countries, the right to pension is considered a human right. The CHR also have lined up activities to celebrate the Elderly Filipino Week on October 1 to 7, 2018.
The event highlighted the main elements identified by the NHRIs as cross-regional concerns in regards to the rights of the older persons with a special focus on area of autonomy and independence, and long-term care and palliative care. It also shared experiences and best practices which showcased the role played by NHRIs in monitoring and promoting the rights of older persons, specifically in relation to the focus areas.
Representatives of Member States, National Human Rights Commission of Korea, UN OHCHR, Asia Pacific Forum, non-government organizations, and other human rights institutions attended the event. - END