Senior citizens complain about not being allowed to go to work amid the pandemic

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 21) — A senior citizens advocate said there are elderly people who complain about not being allowed to go to work during this pandemic.

Elderly advocate Atty. Romulo Macalintal told CNN Philippines’ Newsroom Ngayon that one of the challenges senior citizens are facing for the last five months is their inability to earn a living.

He said in many areas, senior citizens are forced to stay home despite having the capacity to work.

“Ang nirereklamo nga ng ibang kasamahan namin ay bakit pipigilian silang magtrabaho o lumabas ng kanilang tahanan gayong kaya pa naman nilang magtrabaho,” said Macalintal in light of the celebration of World Senior Citizen’s Day every Aug. 21 to increase awareness of issues that affect the elderly.

[Translation: Some senior citizens complain why they are prohibited to go to work or even go out of their homes even though they are still capable of working.]

Macalintal cited President Rodrigo Duterte and other members of the Cabinet who are already senior citizens, but are allowed to go out and work.

Moreover, he noted that even though many seniors receive pension, it is not sufficient for their everyday living that is why there are those who still need to earn extra income especially now that the country is experiencing serious economic crisis.

He made an appeal to the government to at least relax restrictions for the older people.

Under the omnibus guidelines on the implementation of community quarantine in the country, anyone with age below 21 years old and those 60 years old and above are required to stay home at all times, except under certain conditions like buying essential goods and services or for work in industries allowed to operate depending on the community quarantine classification.

The health department has also encouraged the elderly population to remain in their residences since COVID-19 fatality rate among them is high.