A resident of Brgy. Caoayan-Kiling reads the IEC material of ResPPEC posted in a shanty.

The City Government of San Carlos, Pangasinan, through a Memorandum of Agreement with DSWD Field Office (FO) 1, adopted the Reporting System and Prevention Program for Elder Abuse Cases (ReSPPEC), a community-based project initiated by DSWD through the Social Technology Bureau to protect the rights of older persons against all forms of abuse by establishing a local reporting mechanism and referral system.

In March 2016, the project was initially piloted in Barangays Bacnar and Caoayan-Kiling, San Carlos City because of the large number of older person population based on Listahanan data. After more than two years of project implementation, the City Government recognized the importance of ReSPPEC and its relevance in promoting senior citizen-friendly community.

To ensure project sustainability, the City has allocated PhP1 Million included in its Annual Budget for CY 2019 to further reinforce mechanisms, procedures, and protocols to formally report, investigate, intervene, document, monitor, and provide follow-up services to victims of elderly abuse and elder at-risk in the communities.

“Dapat maipalaganap ang ReSPPEC para magkaroon ng tamang pag-intindi, pagtrato, at pag-aaruga sa mga nakatatanda. Huwag nating antayin na mas marami pang maisuplong na kaso ng pang-aabuso. Makialam at labanan ang pang-aabuso sa mga nakatatanda (ReSPPEC must be promoted to provide the right information in understanding, treating, and taking care of the elderly. Let us not wait for more cases of abuse. Be involved and fight elderly abuse),” shared Social Technology Unit Head Mary Grace Rendon. She also disclosed that everyone is accountable for protecting the older persons to promote their well-being, and all must work together to eradicate this societal challenge.

The Philippine government has initiated proactive measures to combat violence on elderly by empowering the sector and providing adequate social services through the implementation of Republic Act 9257 “An Act Granting Additional Benefits and Privileges to Senior Citizens” and Republic Act 7876 “An Act Establishing a Senior Citizens Center in All Cities and Municipalities of the Philippines, and Appropriating Funds Therefor.” # By: Darwin T. Chan, Social Marketing Unit