Thursday, March 29, 2012

News Update Bill seeks imprisonment for 'parent abandonment'

Looking after your parents or other elders in the family may no longer be just a moral obligation.

This, as Senior Citizens Party-list Rep. Godofredo Arquiza filed a bill seeking special protection for parents should they be abandones by their own children.

“Many children nowadays, after having been reared, loved, nurtured and sent to school by their parents, have totally abandoned their parents for selfish reasons,” Arquiza lamented.

House Bill No. 2295 or the “The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents, Senior Citizens and Elderly Act” will guarantee the economic stability of parents, senior citizens and the elderly, the lawmaker said.

If the bill is passed, a parent or senior citizen or elderly can file an application for financial support against his children or grandchildren or other relatives within the fourth degree of consanguinity.

“The obligation of the children or grandchildren to maintain his or her parent or grandparent extends to the needs for food, clothing, medical attendance and treatment,” the bill stated.

The measure also provided that the child or grandchild who refused to accept their parent or grandparent in their home despite having the financial capacity to do so could be imprisoned from six months to six years.

Meanwhile, neglected parents, grandparent or elderly may apply for financial support in the Family Court where he is residing. The Department of Social Welfare and Development and local government units will then provide the victims' temporary shelters, counseling, rehabilitation programs and livelihood assistance. The Department of Health should also provide medical assistance.

DSWD already expressed its support for Arquiza’s bill and has submitted recommendations to enhance the measure.

“The moral duty to maintain parents is recognized by the conservative Filipino people. Every effort shall be exerted to protect their welfare so they may live peacefully in the remaining years of their life,” Arquiza said.