To intensify its advocacy in promoting older persons’ rights and welfare, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) spearheaded this year’s Elderly Filipino Week celebration on October 1-4.
DSWD led the Regional Inter-Agency Committee on Senior Citizens (RIAC-SC), composed of different government agencies such as the DOH, Philhealth, PNP, BJMP, BIR, DTI, PIA, OSCA, and the City Government of Butuan, in preparing series of activities during the celebration.
During the kick-off on October 1, more than 2,000 senior citizens joined the Walk for Life, which started from Butuan City Hall grounds all the way to Agusan del Norte Provincial Capitol covered court.
After the morning walk, senior citizens participated in the Elderlympics, wherein they joined different activities such as the Zumba session, parlor games, board games, ball/sports games, and karaoke singing contest.
RIAC-SC distributed breakfast and lunch as well as treat the seniors with free massage, haircut, manicure and pedicure.
The DOH has also conducted free blood sugar tests and blood pressure test to senior citizens during the weeklong event.
The activities are in line with this year’s theme, “Healthy and Productive Ageing Starts With Me.”
“Karun naa ta tungod kay atong gi-appreciate atong mga lolo ug lola, dili lang sa mga serbisyo ug interventions sa DSWD, but pinaagi sa mga polisiya ug mga guidelines nga gihimo sa atong mga legislators, (We are here because we appreciate our lolo and lola, not just through the services and interventions of DSWD, but also through the policies and guidelines made by our legislators)” Jessie Catherine B. Aranas, DSWD Caraga Protective Services Division OIC-chief, said.
“Kung inyong madumduman ang Republic Act 9994, the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, nag-ingun diha nga kinahanglan nato hatagan pag-tagad ang atong mga lolo ug lola, (If you can recall, it is stated in Republic Act 9994, the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, that we have to give attention and priority to our lolo and lola)” Aranas added.
On October 2, members of the RIAC-SC visited the abandoned senior citizens in Por Cristo Foundation in Buenavista, Agusan del Norte, where Por Cristo residents were given food, grocery packs, hygiene kits and blankets.
One of the residents said they are very much thankful for the presents, saying that it’s not everyday that people visit them in the said place.
The RIAC-SC also visited the elderly inmates inside Surigao City Jail and Surigao del Norte Provincial Jail on October 4, 2019. The visit was conducted to remind the inmates that they are also part of the celebration.
“Naa mi karun diri sa inyoha kay kada unang semana sa Oktubre kada tuig, i-selebrar ang Elderly Filipino Week. Naa mi karun dinhi, naa mi ihatag sa inyo nga gamay nga gift. Nanghinaut mi nga maski sa gamay nga among mahatag makatabang kini sa inyoha, (We are here today because every first week of October of every year, we celebrate the Elderly Filipino Week. We are here because we have a gift for you. We hope that these presents would be a help to you)” Ana Semacio, DSWD Caraga Sectoral head, said during the visit at Surigao City jail.
RIAC-SC distributed food, grocery packs, hygiene kits and blankets to the elderly inmates. Surigao del Norte Provincial Jail warden Felix Resullar said they are thankful that the RIAC-SC visited their facility.
“Mga tatay, siguro ma-feel ninyo kung unsa pagpangga sa injo sa atong goberno karun, kay ang mga ahensya nagtabang-tabang gajud, ang ilang mga resources ug effort ilang gi-combine para matagaan kamo og importansya ug serbisyo, (Our tatays, maybe you have felt the love of our government towards you because these agencies are putting all their resources and efforts together to give you their services)” Resullar told the elderly inmates.
The celebration is in line with Proclamation No. 470, which aims to increase public awareness on the different issues concerning the older persons’ sector. ###(DARYL D. ANUNCIADO/Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga)