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Confederation was born…

The Confederation of Older Persons Association of the Philippine (COPAP) is a partner of Coalition of Services of the Elderly, Inc. (COSE) to advocates for the issues and rights of older people.

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Since the founding of COSE in 1989, it started organizing poor older people in Commonwealth areas where most of the informal settlers are located.  Older people themselves help in organizing other older people until they form 11 organizations. While strengthening the organizations in Commonwealth, COSE expanded to Pasadena San Juan.  Roxas District was also organized because of the experience of Pasadena.  From that time on, there was a rapid increase of older people who want to be organized.  The organizing work of COSE expanded to Malabon, Navotas, Bagong SIlang, Quezon City, Manila, Bagong Silang, Caloocan, Rizal Province, Bulacan, Cavite and Valenzuela and still expanding to Pasay, Pasig, Pateros, Taguig, and even in the regions of the country such as Pampanga, Hagonoy, Bicol, Negros, Davao and Agusan.  These organizations are not members of COSE rather they are partners of COSE in promoting the rights and advocating the issues and concerns of older people in the country. The eleven (11) organizations of commonwealth area as a result of their participatory action research decided to form a federation which they call now PILKAN.  Their purpose of becoming federated is to have stronger voice to advocate their issues and concerns. The idea was grasp by other organizations and they started federated their organization as well. The Bagong Silang area in Caloocan, federated themselves and called their federation as PAMANA, Rizal followed and established the name REFI, Caloocan District 2 followed with their name CCEA, Malabon with their federation name, EPOMCI and Bagong SIlangan, Quezon City also followed with their federation name PINSAN.  Other organizations like Bulacan, Cavite, Valenzuela, Pasay, San Juan, Roxas and Navotas are operating as zone toward federation building. These federations and zones have their own identity, programs and services for their membership.

COSE works closely with the Department of Social Welfare and Development especially to address the concerns of older people.  COSE became a member of the steering committee during the week of the elderly who plans the activities during that week.  In 2005 during the walk for life (October 1), COSE got the award for the most number of participants.  The older people who are the partners of COSE reacted because the award should go to COSE instead it was for them. During one of their president’s meeting, one leader raised the issue. From that time on, the leaders manifested that they don’t only stop with the federation building but they need to confederate all the federations to have stronger voice and to claim their identity as a separate organization.

In 2006, they started to form ADHOC committee to discuss the formation of their confederation.  COSE as an organization was happy about the result because the older people realized that they are not dependent to COSE instead they can stand on their own.

COSE assisted the leaders of older people during their discussions and finally on 2007, the first general assembly was held and launched the name of the organization – COPAP. COPAP now is recognized as Peoples’ Organization.  They are registered to Security and Exchange Commission and being accredited by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

COPAP actively campaigning for the passage of the social pension bill now and were the main lobbyist for the passage of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003 (R.A. 9257) and one of the lobbyists for the passage of the Cheaper Medicine Bill.

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COPAP Executive Committee members and Council of Elders