10 senior citizens with outstanding contributions to the society cited

MANILA — The Coalition of Services of the Elderly Inc. (COSE), in highlighting the 2016 Elderly Week Celebration, awarded 10 senior citizens on Sunday for their outstanding contribution to the society.
The awarding, held at Dr. Avenilo P. Aventura Hall of the Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City, was also led and supported by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), as the lead government agency for social protection.

Proclamation No. 470 signed in 1994 by then President Fidel Ramos designated Oct. 1-7 of every year as Elderly Filipino Week, or Linggo ng Nakatatandang Filipino, to emphasize the important role that older persons play in nation building, as well as raise and address issues concerning the sector.

The 10 awardees are: Marcial T. Angkok, 74, from Caloocan City; Alejandro L. Baluyot, 60, Los Banos, Laguna; Agatona Cachero, 97, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur; Estrella M. Castuciano, 78, General Mariano Alvarez, Cavite; Lolita B. Dela Cruz, 67, Rodriguez, Rizal; Susan P. Evangelista, 74, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan; Nieves P. Gutierrez, 67, Barangay Pandatung, Hermosa, Bataan; Crisanta Q. Layos, 66, Medellin, Cebu; Nilo delos Reyes, 61, Caloocan City; and Angelita C. Villaflor, 65, Hagonoy, Bulacan.

All of them did not receive any similar recognition from the COSE previously.

They comprised the 26th batch of elders handed with the same award.

COSE selects at least 10 older persons every year who are nominated based on their exemplary contributions in the fields of health, education, cultural preservation, helping persons with disabilities (PWDs) and fellow older persons, teaching disaster response work, and many others.

Edward Gerlock, founder of COSE, said that the latest awardees, added to the previous ones, brings the total number of awardees to about 260.

“We are hoping that there will come a day when we can award at least a thousand of elders as we believe that there are still many elders in every community that need to be recognized,” Gerlock said.

He said that the recognition is being made for elders so that the young people can be inspired to follow and share their good deeds as they gain wisdom from the examples set by the country’s senior citizens.

Meanwhile, DSWD Undersecretary Vilma Cabrera, in her keynote speech, cited how the elders help a lot in shaping the society and the young ones.

She saluted the elders for serving as examples to the youth sector in terms of fighting for the rights of others that are being enjoyed by a lot of citizens now.

The DSWD official explained that the experiences and achievements of the elders who have shown their determination and skills in nation building even in their old age deserve recognition.

Cabrera also called on the elders to practice being “S.E.X.Y.” — S-Sapat na Karanasan sa anumang aspeto sa buhay; E-Ehemplo ng mabuting pag-uugali sa kapawa; E-Extreme na pangangalaga at pagmamahal sa pamilya at lipunan; and Y-Young at Heart.

She further noted how the DSWD is assisting the indigent senior citizens in the country.

“Para sa taong 2016, meron na po tayung 1.3 million indigent senior citizens na nakatatanggap ng social pension,” she added.

Cabrera said that the DSWD budget in 2017 will already include the fund for the Centenarian Act.

She said that so far, there are at least 2,992 centenarians that have been identified. PNA-northboundasia.com