Coalition of Services of the Elderly, Inc. (COSE)
Founded in 1989, the Coalition of Services of the Elderly (COSE) bases its mission on the tradition of respecting older people and supporting community-based programmes. COSE helps older people to continue living in their communities and contributing to the lives of others.
COSE has organised 396 Older People’s Organisation (OPOs) nationwide and assisted them to establish their own Community Based Programs of the Elderly such as income generating projects, home care program, community drugstore, and social activities. COSE also provides capacity building activities to older people to develop their skills in lobbying policies to local and national government.
Together with Confederation of Older People Associations in the Philippines (also known as COPAP), COSE has successfully pushed for changes on national social pension scheme and universal health coverage for older people aged 60 and above. COSE also worked closely with Department of Social Welfare and Development on the Home Care model and developed homecare guidelines that have been effective since 2011.
COSE is also well positioned and experienced in responding immediately to emergency situations. From 2009-2013, alongside HelpAge International, COSE has provided many emergency interventions to the most affected older people. These include a joint response formed in 2013 as “HelpAge-COSE”, to provide essential relief support to typhoon Haiyan-affected communities.
COSE joined the HelpAge network in 1991 and became an Affiliate in 2004.
The Coalition of Services of the Elderly currently engages in the following area of works:
A. Emergency response and Disaster Risk Reduction programme in 11 municipalities affected by typhoon Haiyan. Programme’s activities include: rebuilding livelihood and houses, restoring access to health, raising awareness on inclusion of older people and promoting community resiliency through DRR. Several innovations has been introduced such as a Mobile Health Care Services that bring health practitioners to older people at home and Age-Friendly Help Desks where older people can consult on their rights, entitlements, available services and community complaint mechanism.
B. Community-based engagements with older person in selected communities in Mindanao, Luzon and Visayas: It aims to help older people’s organisations to develop and push their proposal and agenda to be included in government budget; and to develop age-friendly activities that meet their daily needs.
C. Mobilisation of older people leaders to monitor the implementation of laws related to older people group in the country, especially the implementation of social pension for the indigent older persons. Aside from that, lobbying for the passage of bills that address the abuse against older person.
D. Active partnership and networking with other national and local partners including government agencies, Commission on Human Rights, Philippines Information Agency, Department of Foreign Affair, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Presidential Committee on Human Rights, academe and research institute to push for UN convention on the rights of the elderly.
E. Strengthening support to abandoned older people and house them in group homes integrated in the community, which allow those older people to enjoy active and healthy ageing with the rest of the community. COSE is now tapping potential stakeholders that can help improve lives of abandoned older people in the group homes.
F. Addressing concrete needs of the older people in indigenous communities by empowering the community in accessing and sustaining renewable source of energy such as installation of solar panels system.