MANILA, Philippines - The use of common sense is a must in dealing with senior citizens' issues and concerns amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, said Senator Sonny Angara on Tuesday. “The guidelines for areas under GCQ are very clear. Senior citizens and persons below 21 years of age, while required to continue staying inside their homes, are allowed to go out to buy essential goods like food and medicine and to obtain essential services,” Angara said in a statement. Angara cited in particular senior citizens, who tried to collect their pensions but were barred from taking public transportation supposedly because of the rules issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. Another case is an elderly woman in Quezon City who had to walk for hours to the the MRT-3 station but was reportedly denied entry because seniors are not allowed to travel, the senator pointed out. “Clearly getting their pensions and important government documents are considered essential,” he stressed. “Common sense lang ang kailangan dito. Hirap na nga ang mga seniors natin na nakakulong lang sa mga tahanan nila ng halos tatlong buwan tapos sa bihirang panahon na kailangan nilang lumabas ay pahihirapan pa din sila,” Angara said. He lamented that this issue of easing restrictions on movement of senior citizens had already been settled since many of them live alone and have to purchase their own food and medicine. Many senior citizens are also “very productive members of society” and can still go to work, said Angara, one of the authors of Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizen’s Act of 2010, which provides more benefits and privileges to the country’s elderly. His father, the later former Senate President Edgardo Angara, authored Republic Act 7432 or the Senior Citizen’s Act of 1992. “Patuloy pa din dapat ang pagbibigay priority sa mga seniors as pila sa mga grocery at botika at sa pagsakay sa public transport tulad ng MRT. Wala naman patakaran na nagbabawal sa kanila na sumakay sa mga public transportation basta ang pakay nila ay pasok sa guidelines ng IATF,” Angara stressed.GSG