City enacts new ordinance for senior citizens
By Jason B. Neola
NAGA City has two ordinances that promote employment of senior citizens with the recent enactment of Ordinance 2023-047 that gives incentives to employers who hired them as workers.
The first ordinance was passed and approved in 2022, specifically, Ordinance 2022-049 which created the City Senior Citizen Officials Program wherein senior citizens are being given the opportunity to serve as counterparts of the city officials working as City Senior Citizen Mayor, Vice Mayor, Councilors, and Department Heads.
This time, with the passage of Ordinance 2023-047, wherein the members of the sector, who are still able, capable, qualified, and willing to work, were given the opportunity to be employed at public and private entities which, in turn, will receive incentives from the city government for hiring them despite their age.
The recently approved ordinance, which was authored by City Councilor Joselito S.A. del Rosario, said that the governance participation of the elderly as senior citizen city officials and the active involvement of their sector in other community works illustrates their willingness and capability to engage in service and employment despite their elderliness.
The city councilor explained that Ordinance 2023-047, also known as the Naga City Senior Citizens Productivity Ordinance, intends to promote the employment of the senior citizens.
“Unfortunately, the present reality in our workplaces not only in the city but also in the country discriminates against the employment of the elderly for various reasons such as physical and mental incapability for work. However, in other cities in Asia, the employment of senior citizens is remarkably apparent,” Del Rosario said in the explanatory note of the ordinance.
Naga CIty Mayor Nelson Legacion, City Councilor Joselito Del Rosario and City Councilor Sonny Rañola pose after signing their respective ordinances on senior citizens employment, and medical scholarships on Tuesday, June 13, 2023 at the City Hall Grounds. Photo courtesy of Naga City Government Facebook Page Keren Anne Bernadas
The ordinance mandates the city government to provide also the employing public and private entities that will allow the elderly to benefit from their company’s training programs and skills development.
RA 10911 otherwise known as the Anti-Age Discrimination and Employment Act said that the “State shall promote equal opportunities in employment for everyone. To this end, it shall be the policy of the State to: promote employment of individuals on the basis of their abilities, knowledge, and skills and qualifications rather than their age;
Prohibit arbitrary age limitations in employment; and promote the right of all employees and workers including senior citizens, to be treated equally in terms of compensation, benefits, promotion, training and other employment opportunities.
The city ordnance said that older people in the workforce help increases cognitive diversity and significantly contributes to the success of the company and the labor market. Aside from that, it also helps the personal productivity of the employed senior citizens and that of their longevity.
In consonance with RA 9994, the ordinance, encourages public and private entities to provide full-time or part-time employment to all qualified senior citizens.
“The employers, in this ordinance, are given the discretion to grant greater benefits or suitable working conditions and terms of employment beyond the minimum requirements provided under the Labor Code, and other laws and regulations. In case of part-time employment, a minimum of four days per week shall be observed,” Del Rosario said.
Sec. 4 of the ordinance provides that public and private entities are encouraged to allocate and fill in job slots for senior citizens, equivalent to 5% of the total number of regular and temporary, casual employees currently employed.
The ordinance’s tax incentive clause said that “private entities that will employ senior citizens as employees, shall be entitled to an additional deduction from their gross income, equivalent to 15% of the total amount paid as salaries and wages to senior citizens, subject to the provision of Sec. 34 of the NIRC, as amended: Provided, however, that such employment shall continue for a period of at least 6 months: Provided, further, that the annual income of the senior citizens does not exceed the latest poverty threshold as determined by the National Statistical Coordination Board of the National Economic and Development Authority for that year.
In the case of a public entity employing senior citizens in its office, additional points in their office performance may be granted during the annual performance review, for purposes of the computation of their productivity incentives. Such employment shall be treated as additional staff over and above the regular staff allocated to the concerned office.