Absorbing the elderly in the workforce

ARE you a senior citizen who’s interested in working for a private company in Cebu City?

Job opportunities for the elderly may not be a problem anymore if the City Council approves the draft legislation providing for the employment of senior citizens in private firms.

In its regular session on Jan. 28, 2020, the council approved on first reading the proposed ordinance requiring business establishments to employ senior citizens under the Food-for-Work program and providing tax incentives.

The draft measure, which was filed by Councilor Prisca Niña Mabatid of the north district, will require senior citizens to make up three percent of business establishments’ total manpower.

Mabatid said giving the elderly the opportunity to work will boost their morale.

In her proposal, senior citizens may still work for eight hours like regular workers, depending on the type of job they are qualified for.

“This is to push the morale of SC (senior citizens). Even if they are overage, employment will give them the feeling of importance in their respective families and to society as a whole. It will help them be physically fit and contribute to ensuring more years for them,” she added.

The councilor said her proposed ordinance is different from Republic Act (RA) 10911, or the Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Law.

Mabatid said RA 10911 declares it unlawful for a labor contractor or subcontractor to refuse to refer for employment, or otherwise discriminate against any individual because of age.

Her draft legislation, on the other hand, makes it compulsory for business establishments to hire elderly workers, she said.

Mabatid said her ordinance supports RA 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

RA 994 defines senior citizens as any Filipino citizen who is a resident of the Philippines, and who is 60 years old or above.

It may apply to senior citizens with “dual citizenship” status, provided they prove their Filipino citizenship and have resided in the Philippines for at least six months.

The proposal has the support of the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs and Vice Mayor Michael Rama, who said it is “long overdue.” (PAC / RTF)