No retirement age for senior citizens pushed
JAVIER JOE ISMAEL
The Manila Times
SEN. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has urged the government to continue protecting and promoting the welfare of senior citizens, stressing that it must be a choice rather than a necessity for them to continue working as they age. “Pag-aralan natin nang mabuti. Kung makakatulong naman po sa pamilya, kung kakayanin pa po ng senior na magtrabaho (Let us study carefully. If this benefits the family, if a senior can still work),” said Go when asked if he supports the proposed removal of age-based restrictions for employment during an ambush interview after personally providing assistance to struggling residents in Taytay, Rizal on Wednesday. “Siyempre para sa akin, panahon na rin po nila na makapagpahinga bilang mga senior citizen. ‘Wag na po natin silang pahirapan pa at pagtrabahuhin pa. Kung meron pong maitutulong ang gobyerno sa kanila, they deserve naman po na makapagpahinga. Pero importante po hindi sila magugutom, may ikabubuhay po sila (Of course, for me, it’s about time that the senior citizens have to rest. Let’s not burden them more and compel them to work, they deserve to get the needed rest. But it is important that they do not get hungry, and they have some means to live),” he added. The senator reiterated that he disagrees with obligating senior citizens to work in order to survive and that the government should do its utmost to prevent such choices from becoming a necessity for them. National Economic and Development Authority head Arsenio Balisacan had declared his support for a measure that would eliminate the required retirement age and let seniors ages 65 and above continue working. The nation’s chief economist also asked the private sector to hire seniors who are still in good physical and mental health. Meanwhile, Go shared that he has filed Senate Bill 420 that seeks to provide temporary employment for qualified members of poor households in rural areas who are willing to do unskilled manual work for a period of time. This is to address the impact of the pandemic on displaced workers. Under his proposed measure, there shall be a Rural Employment Assistance Program under the Department of Labor and Employment, which shall provide temporary employment to qualified individuals who are poor, disadvantaged, displaced or seasonal workers willing to work for a minimum of 10 days, but not more than 90 days in a calendar year.