oscaBUTUAN CITY – The Caraga’s Regional Coordinating and Monitoring Board (RCMB) chaired by the Department of Social Welfare and Development recently trained the local government units’ (LGUs) Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) heads. The training was aimed at capacitating the OSCA heads to handle complaints from senior citizens and others regarding the implementation of RA 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

The activity was in line with the observance of “Elderly Filipino Week” or “Linggo ng Nakakatandang Pilipino” on Oct. 1 to 7. Presidential Proclamation No. 470 issued on September 26, 1994, declared the observance of Elderly Filipino Week every first week of October.

This year’s theme “Nakakatanda: Tanglaw ng Bayan, Kaagapay sa Matuwid na Daan,” aims to promote the rights and well-being of older persons as well as recognize their valuable contributions in nation building.  Today, most of them are still active in various home and community activities.

As provided for in the law, the OSCA shall have the following functions a) In consultation with the City or Municipal Social Work and Development Officer and duly registered senior citizen organizations, to plan, develop, implement, consolidate, and monitor yearly work programs in pursuance of the objectives of the Act and its Rules; b) To draw up a list of available and required services which can be provided by registered federations and associations of senior citizens; c) To maintain and regularly update on a quarterly basis the list of senior citizens and to issue national uniform individual identification cards and purchase booklets, free of charge, which shall be valid anywhere in the country; d) To serve as a general information and liaison center to serve the needs of the senior citizens; e) To monitor compliance of the provisions of the Act and its Rules particularly the grant of special discounts and privileges to senior citizens; f) To report to the Mayor, any person, natural or juridical; establishments, business entity, institution or agency found violating any provision of the Act and its Rules; g) To facilitate the creation of a city or municipality coordinating and monitoring board consisting of OSCA Head, the City or Municipal Social Work and Development Officer and the presidents of concerned duly registered senior citizens organizations to deliberate and act on the complaints; h) To assist senior citizens in filing complaints or charges against any person, natural or juridical; establishment, institution, or agency refusing to comply with the privileges under the Act before the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, the regional or the municipal trial court, the municipal trial court in cities, or the municipal circuit trial court; i) To assist and coordinate with the concerned person, natural or juridical, establishment, institution or agency in investigating fraudulent practices and abuses of the discount and privileges exclusively granted to senior citizens; and j) To establish linkages and work together with accredited NGOs, people’s organizations, and the barangays in their respective areas.

Topics discussed in the training were the legal Bases (violations on the provision of RA 9994), RA 9994 of 2010, Consumers Rights and Responsibilities, 5% discount on Basic Commodities, Conflict Management, Handling Meetings, and Process in Handling Complaints. The resource persons were Atty. Lemuel Alegado, State prosecutor II, Lorijane Sacote of DTI, Jeffrey Ramo of DILG and Wilma Geralla of DSWD.

Before the training ended, the participants did a role playing in handling complaints and crafted their action plans.

Other activities conducted were hanging of streamer and radio guesting. # # # (Social Marketing Unit)