Age Demands Action is the voice of older people all over the world
Generosa Macaiba is an Age Demands Action activist who works for the Coalition of Services of the Elderly in the Philippines. Here, she talks about the success of the campaign to date and their plans for the future:
"COSE has participated in the ADA campaign since its launch in 2007. It has proven to be an effective strategy so that the voices of older people can be heard by their governments.
Thousands of older people mobilised
In 2007, older people went to Congress to support the filing of the Social Pension Bill. They demanded that legislators should listen to their voice and support the introduction of social pensions.
After the filing of the bill, the older people did not rest and kept lobbying intensely for the passage. They went almost every week to the lobby, session halls and offices of legislators and other concerned agencies to influence legislators and government officials to support the passage of the bill because of its importance to the poorest of the poor older people.
Power of older people
COPAP and COSE mobilised thousands of older people to urge legislators to pass the bill and they again mobilised when the President was hesitant to sign the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 which includes the social pension. This showed the power of older people.
Finally, the bill was signed on 15 February 2010 introducing social pensions to the Philippines! Great news!
But we didn't stop there - the signing of the bill was just one step of the campaign. We now need to focus on the implementation and monitoring of this law.
"The challenge now is how the older people's group ensures the implementation of the law in their locality," said Nanay Salvacion Basiano, the spokesperson of COPAP.
The government is now doing something for older people
AGE Demands Action 2010 will focus more on the participation of older people in the monitoring and the implementation of the law.
Older people are discussing how they will influence the Department of Interior and Local Government to get local government units to introduce the pensions.
In the past election, once again the power of senior citizens was proven when they won three seats in Congress!
But these representatives don't have a concrete agenda for older people, especially for the poorest older people so COPAP leaders will meet with them to discuss these important issues.
Aside from discussing the agenda, older people have also participated in completing the Insights on Ageing survey form to show whether there has been an improvement to the services and programs for older people in the country. Based on their answers, most of them said that there has been a big improvement. They recognised that the government is now listening to and doing something for older people."
Show your support for older people in the Philippines and across the world by signing the Age Demands Action petition against age discrimination.