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Wilma Geralla (in white) encourages the senior citizen-detainees at Butuan City jail about the presence of hope in life and tells them that the elderly are loved, cared for, and respected.

BUTUAN CITY – As part of the Elderly Filipino Week 2016 celebration, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Caraga, together with its co-members of the Regional Inter-Agency Committee on Senior Citizens (RIAC-SC), conducted visitation to the older persons at the Por Cristo Foundation, Inc. and this city’s jail last October 5 and 7, 2016, respectively.

Part of the visit is the distribution of gifts such as food and non-food items to give joy to the elderly.

The older persons at the Por Cristo Foundation offered songs to show their gratefulness to their visitors.

“Salamat sa inyong pagdumdom ug pagbisita sa among mga tigulang nga naa diri sa Por Cristo (Thank you for remembering and visiting us- the older persons here at Por Cristo),” Lola Dolores, one of the residents said.

Lipay kaayo mi nga naa mo ug sa inyong gipanghatag nga t-shirt (We are so happy that you are here and for the t-shirt gifts that you gave),” she added.

During the jail visit, members of the RIAC-SC also gave orientation to the senior citizen-detainees regarding their rights and privileges as senior citizens.

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A representative from the Department of Health (DOH), one of the members of RIAC-SC, hands a box of multivitamins to one of the residents in Por Cristo Foundation.

Wilma Geralla, social worker and focal person of DSWD to RIAC-SC, also had one-on-one conversation with the elderly persons in the City Jail. She interviewed them and asked on their physical condition, welfare, and needs which may be addressed by the available resources of the concerned agencies.

Since the celebration for this year bears the theme, “Pagmamahal at Respeto ng Nakababata, Nagpapaligaya sa Matatanda”, DSWD and RIAC-SC members wished to express love, care, and respect to the older persons currently staying and detained in the said institutions.

Regional Director Minda B. Brigoli said that the older persons need care and respect because they spent their whole lives working for, and serving their families, communities, and country.

“Ipadama natin ang ating tunay na malasakit at mapagkalingang pag-aalaga para sa ating mga nakatatanda (Let us express our genuine concern and compassionate care for our elderly),” shared Brigoli.

Presidential Proclamation No.470 mandates the annual celebration of Elderly Filipino Week every first week of October to emphasize the important role that older persons play in nation building, as well as raise awareness, and address issues concerning the older persons’ sector.###(EUNICE G. MONTAOS/Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga)