Kuya Bong: Let elders enjoy life

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go is urging lawmakers in the House of Representatives to ponder the proposal that will remove the mandatory retirement age of 65 for elderly Filipinos and let senior citizens enjoy life doing worthwhile endeavors beside their families as a prize for more than four decades of working.

In the proposed House Bill 3220, Senior Citizens PartyList Representative Rodolfo Ordanes seeks to tweak the Labor Code of the Philippines which declares 65 years old as the compulsory retirement age.

Under the proposed measure, it stated that “an employee who reached the age of sixty-five (65) years can choose to continue their employment provided that he qualifies under the bona fide occupational qualifications of his job. The burden to prove otherwise is with the employer.”

The measure gained support from Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, who said that many 65 to 70-year-olds are “still very productive members of our society.”

In his conversation with reporters on Wednesday, Go said the proposed measure needs further study and consideration.

“For my part, I think they already need to rest. Let us spare them from further hardships and workloads. They deserve to rest for decades of sacrifices for their families and for the country. The government is always here to assure that they will not be starving, to provide proper support, and they will have a happy life,” Go said.

The senator stressed that the reason why the government is providing pensions for its workers is that the state wanted to make sure that they will have a meaningful and worthwhile retirement after working for 45 years.

“It’s time for them to enjoy life. The life span nowadays is 70 to 80, and yet we are pushing them to continue working? Let’s have a further study on this proposal, but obliging them to work, I am against that, otherwise, let’s ask our senior citizens if they still wish to work even if they are at their retirement age,” Go added.

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