Some 4,582 senior citizens from 10 barangays in Toledo City benefited from the “Halad sa Gugma Alang Kang Lolo ug Lola” program of the Cebu Provincial Government on Sept. 22.
Governor Hilario Davide and Vice Governor Agnes Magpale with Board Member Gigi Sanchez headed the activity held consecutively in the covered courts in Barangays Media Once, Poog, Magdugo, Sangi, Luray 2, Ilihan, Daanlungsod, Ibo, Bato, and Awihao.
Base on the records from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), the program has given around 50,000 food packs to the senior citizens in the 33 local government units from January to September this year.
Davide explained during his speech that the Provincial Government, through the Provincial Board, has created the Senior Citizen’s Council by way of an ordinance that caters to the concerns and problems of the elders.
“Wala gayud kamo (referring to the senior citizens) nakalimtan sa atung gobyerno. Kamo ang sektor nga gitagaan og espesyal nga pagtagad bisan pa man sa National Government(Our senior citizens are not forgotten. This sector enjoys special attention even from the National Government),”Davide said.
The governor also added that the senior citizens must be aware of the benefits that they can get from the Expanded Senior Citizen’s Act of 2010 or Republic Act 9994.
Barangay Poog Senior Citizen’s Association President Mariano Monsales thanked the Provincial Government of Cebu for initiating the program.
“Wala pa gyud diay mi nalimtan mga senior citizens. Mapasalamaton kaayo mi kay ming-anhi gyud ang mga officials gikan sa probinsya ug sa barangay (We the senior citizens are really not forgotten. We are grateful to our government officials for visiting us),” Monsales shared.
Meanwhile, Vice Governor Agnes Magpale also shared that the Cebu Provincial Government is giving a monetary benefit for a senior citizen whose age reaches to a hundred and above.
“Kung maabot gani ang usa ka taw og usa ka gatos ang panuigon, gawas sa posibilidad nga may kalabutan kini sa genetics, kini nagpakita lang nga siya may disiplina sa kaugalingon (When a person reaches the age of at least 100, apart from the possibility that it has something to do with genetics, this only shows that he or she has self-discipline),” Magpale said.
Board Member Gigi Sanchez also emphasized that centenarians must be recognized in the local government units that they belong.
“Kung ang taw maabot na sa usa ka gatos nga panuigon, usa na kini ka dakung dungog ug sila angayan lang nga mapahalipayan bisan ginagmay lang (When a person celebrates 100 years old, this is a huge achievement and he or she only deserves to be rewarded),” Sanchez added.
Some of those who were thankful for the program were Amparo Lazada, president of the senior citizens association in Ilihan; Monsales, also president of the association in Daanlungsod; and Santos Abella, 84-year old farmer from Magdugo.
Prescillano Abadinas, a retiree and now consultant for Carmen Copper Corporation, was delighted to receive the food pack.
“Gawas sa kalipay nga modawat og bugas, mas bug-at ang kalipay kay kini hinatag alang kanamo mga edad-edaran. Lahi kini og impact labi na makakita ang mga tiguwang sa mga opisyales nga mao gyud ang naghatud sa mga gasa (Apart from the joy of receiving rice, there is greater joy in the fact that this was given to us senior citizens. The degree of happiness is different, especially when we see government officials actually the ones giving out the packs),” said Abadinas.
Barangay Captains Florante Restauro of Media Once, Chito Alferez of Poog, Edward Climaco of Magdugo, Lani Bantilan of Awihao, Jose Letrago of Daanlungsod, Elma Sulla of Luray 2, Edwin Bacalso of Sangi, Jimbo Lauza of Sagay, and Rosalio Cereño of Bato, Leonita Birao og Ilihan, Florante Lariba of Subayon, and Ophelio Dolino of Cabitoonan were also present during the activity.