President Piñera and First Lady present bill to benefit senior citizens: “We all win when we fully include our senior citizens in society”
The initiative strengthens institutions that offer services to senior citizens, increases the oversight authority of the National Service for Senior Citizens (SENAMA) and expands labor rights and social involvement.
The President of Chile Sebastián Piñera and First Lady Cecilia Morel unveiled the positive aging bill Thursday, which gives senior citizens more rights and benefits.
The initiative includes institutional strengthening through the creation of the Interministerial Committee on Senior Citizens. This body will submit a proposal for a National Policy on Senior Citizens to the President, ensure that it is implemented and guarantee its technical quality, coherence and intersectorial coordination.
“We all win when we fully include our senior citizens in society,” the President remarked after signing the bill. He was accompanied by Social Development Minister Karla Rubilar, Labor Minister María José Zaldívar, and Minister Secretary General of the Presidency Cristián Monckeberg.
The First Lady noted: “The submission of this law is the culmination of the arduous work that we have encouraged through our program Better Adult to improve senior citizens’ quality of life. We have made a lot of progress: managed care and day care centers, lower fares on public transportation, preferential care, geriatric units in hospitals, strengthening senior-friendly cities, citizen councils for senior citizens and creating an ombudsman’s office for the elderly. These are just some of the initiatives that we have implemented through a great deal of effort over the past two-plus years. We will continue to work, particularly during the pandemic, which is when our senior citizens need us more than ever."
The law will create National Senior Citizen Service Regional Directorates to strengthen the agency’s work and will give it tools for protecting the rights of older adults.
The project also guarantees rights to social participation. To that end, the government will create a system of senior-friendly cities and regional advisory councils. It will also include labor rights, with a special work contract that offers more flexible schedules and facilitates inclusion of senior citizens in the labor market.
The initiative is part of the effort that President Piñera and the First Lady are making to highlight the contributions made by senior citizens in society, providing them more development and care tools that range from higher pensions to increased health coverage and urban and social policies that improve their quality of life.
“Living a better life doesn’t just mean living longer. It also means living a fuller life,” the President noted.