MANILA — The proposed measures seeking to allow employers to hire senior citizens received opposing views from the Senate leadership and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri on Wednesday welcomed the proposal of Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva to hire senior citizens which is being done in other countries.
After all, many elderlies can still deliver a significant contribution to nation-building, the senator said.
"We’ll give it a priority. Alam mo maraming senior citizens naman, this is not prejudice to makukuha nilang retirement pay and monthly retirement compensation and pension, pero kung gusto po magtrabaho ng mga senior citizens hayaan natin silang mag-trabaho, kase sa ibang bansa, Japan, galing po kami ng Japan, ka-meetign po naming si Prime minister, alam mo yung mga taxi driver naming matatanda,” Zubiri said at the weekly “Kapihan sa Manila Bay.”
“Parang dito kase, pag senior citizen medyo matanda ka na hindi ka na pwede. In other words hindi ka na tinatanggap ng mga kumpanya. So sinusuportahan ko po ang panukala ni Sen. Joel Villanueva na ating majority floor leader, na magbigay ng incentives sa mga kumpanya na mag e-employ ng over 60 years old na senior citizen,” he said.
“Not because they are retired it means that they are retirable. Meron naman po silang kakayahan, still productive. Marami diyan magagaling pa, pwedeng pang maging accountant. Pwede pang maging skilled."
But the idea of bringing back senior citizens to the workforce as regular workers must be examined further, Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma said, given the bulk of job hunters in the country belong to the younger generation.
“On a personal note we cannot have the best of both worlds. We have to have a balance. Kasi nakapag-trabaho ka na, it’s also expected na you should also enjoy the fruits of your labor. Some would not want to actually consider, some companies. Because they like na medyo dynamic, mga young blood kagaya ninyo. Siyempre gusto nila ng infusion ng fresh talent and fresh ideas,” Laguesma said.
“Nobody, no one has the monopoly of talent, or monopoly of ano ba ang tama, ano ba ang mali. At the end of the day, there should always be a balance,” the secretary added.
Still, Laguesma maintained that senior citizens could still work in other areas that are currently being opened to the younger generation.
“We have to consider their concerns... we do provide opportunities for the elderly na nakapag-trabaho naman sa mahabang panahon. Tiyakin din natin ang mga kabataan na mabigyan ng inspiration, encouragement na meron silang maiko-contribute bilang manggagawa ng ating bansa,” Laguesma said.
There is now a “Social Protection Floor” recommendation that addresses the youth, women senior citizens and working-age class.