Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid proposed to criminalize the act of depriving support to elderly, sickly and incapacitated parents.
Lapid’s proposed Senate Bill 2061 reinforces the duty of children to take care of their elderly, sickly or otherwise and incapacitated parents.
The bill further states that children shall, within their means and capacity, maintain support for their father or mother, who by virtue of being over 60 years of age or suffering from a disease or disability, are rendered incapable of supporting themselves.
The bill also said among the persons mentioned in Article 195 of the Family Code who are obliged to give support to each other are parents and their children.
“This means that the obligation to support cuts both ways — parents must support their children, especially during the years of their minority and dependency. On the other hand, children who are already capable must take care of their elderly, disease or disability-stricken parents who are in need,” said Lapid.
Unfortunately, he noted that abuse against an elderly, disabled, or otherwise incapacitated parent — which also includes physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, and financial abuse, abandonment, neglect and serious loss of dignity and respect — has become an “invisible issue” in the Philippines, according to Commission on Human Rights.
Senate Bill 2061 states that when an elderly parent appears to be in need, he/she may, by himself/herself through a representative of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, shall initiate the filing of a criminal action against his/her children for deprivation of support.
The bill defines “support” as everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, and medical attendance.
Any person, who despite having the capacity, neglects to maintain support to his or her parent shall be liable for deprivation of support to parent and shall be punishable by imprisonment of arresto menor or arresto mayor.
There are also respective fines of not less than two PHP200,000 but not more than PHP500,000 at the discretion of the court.