BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance institutionalizing the creation of a Baguio City Senior Citizens Multipurpose Cooperative for the primary purpose of putting up a Baguio City Senior Citizens Cooperative Pharmacy and Convenient Store and providing guidelines for the operationalization of the measure.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) will be tasked to organize the cooperative per district based on the existing registered senior citizens organizations for their seminar and consequent registration as a multipurpose cooperative with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) and likewise, the OSCA, together with the CDA, shall be the monitoring agency that will ensure the growth and development of the cooperative.
Yangot added the organized district cooperatives shall identify the location of the Baguio City Senior Citizens Cooperative Pharmacy and Convenient Store and submit the location map together with the budgetary requirements to the OSCA for evaluation and recommendation to the City Mayor for approval.
Further, the ordinance also tasked the City Social Welfare and Development Officer to oversee the successful implementation of the ordinance and submit a quarterly monitoring report to the City Council for assessment and evaluation.
Yangot revealed there is a need for such a legislation as it is apparent that business establishments and drug stores are defiant in giving the 20 percent discount to senior citizens thereby depriving them of their mandated rights and privileges.
He says the ordinance in intended to fulfill the intentions of the law to the fullest for the benefit of all senior citizens in the city.
“Cooperatives will make senior citizens more productive and self-sufficient. The creation of the Baguio Senior Citizens Multipurpose Cooperative with the primary purpose of establishing Senior Citizens Cooperative Pharmacies and Convenient Stores will help prove their ability to continuously carry out programs for the benefit of the underprivileged majority and would eventually help our government in its efforts to minimize if not eradicate poverty,” Yangot stressed.
He claimed there are existing organizations registered with the OSCA which may be called upon for the organization of cooperatives on a district level.
Article 15, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution provides that it is the duty of the family to take care of its elderly members while the State may design programs of social security for them as provided in the law. Further, Article 13, Section 11 provides that the State shall adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health and other social services available to all the people at an affordable cost and that there shall be priority for the needs of the underprivileged, sick, elderly, disabled, women and children.
By Dexter A. See