This is a proposed law by Senator Lito Lapid (Maintenance of Parents Act of 2010) that is DETACHED from reality. Even without this bill being proposed, we Filipinos have since time immemorial been supporting our parents, financially or otherwise, if we are capable to do so.
Not to be able to support cannot be simply and superficially justified as ‘neglect of the elderly’. A question should rather be asked: “why can’t they give support”? Even if this law is approved, granting for the sake of argument, do you think the parents would bother complaining in court at all?
Will they bother getting a lawyer, or that the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) could provide service on top of their heavy workload? Will probono lawyers afford this elderly legal aid in ‘prosecuting’ their neglecful child?
Are our parents ready to break their selves–psychologically, emotionally or otherwise–of condemning their children in public? Could parents swallow their pride, knowing full well, that the Filipino habitually would also perceived/presumed them as neglectful parents; thus, they were neglected? Not yet.
Even those families whose had loved ones who starved to death, or those who are suffering from hunger, unfortunately they still have this misplaced ‘ego’ and ‘pride’ by denying they are suffering from it. That is what remains of them. And our society, instead of helping the needy, the ‘starving’ and the ‘hungry’, condemns them for being ‘lazy’.
This is the type of society we are now. Can this be solve by enacting and legislating one laws after the other? No. Even if this law is passed and parents/elderly do complain, and the offender is convicted, then what? Our already crowded prisons would end up having more prisoners whose offense had been committed due to failure of our own society.
Instead of condemning, and imposing punishment on it, is it not we should try to understand why our children of today are no longer able to support their parents/elderly as it was in the old days? Is Senator Lapid too preoccupied of an unrealistic presumptions that Filipinos have money that they just simply neglected their parents for no reason?