LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – About 500 senior citizens flocked the opening ceremonies of the 1st Provincial Senior Citizen Convention in line with the celebration of the 23rd Elderly Filipino Week held at the Sison Auditorium, here, recently.
This year’s celebration is anchored on the theme: “Pagkilala sa Kakayanan, Ambag at Paglahok ng mga nakakatanda sa Lipunan” aimed at addressing the social issues encountered by the elders.
Overwhelmed by the number of the participants, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Emilio P. Samson, Jr. welcomed each members of the Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines (FSCAP) – Pangasinan Chapter, Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs Head Association Pangasinan (OSCAHAP) and Federation of Senior Citizens Association of Parañaque City (FeSCAP) with pride to the first-ever convention for senior citizens in Pangasinan.
“Napag-isipan po naming gawin ang isang provincial convention para ang iba’t ibang presidente sa bawat barangay sa Pangasinan ay may chance na makapagsalu-salo, magkita at makapagkamustahan ,” Samson added.
Addressing hundreds of senior citizens from various districts in the province, Provincial Board Member Raul P. Sison of the 2nd district, who is the Committee Chairman on Children, Women, Senior Citizen, Family Affairs and Social Welfare, stressed that the provincial leaders, especially Governor Amado I. Espino and his predecessor, former governor and now representative of the fifth district Amado T. Espino, Jr., have been steadfast in providing welfare and assistance in programs and projects concerning the elders.
“Tuwing may resolution at senior citizens ang pinag-uusapan, maniwala po kayo, wala nang debateng nagaganap,” BM Sison disclosed as he called the elders as ‘the foundation of the community.’
Meanwhile, Atty. Jeffrey J. Catungal, Asst. Prosecutor II of Regional Trial Court (RTC), who served as one of the resource speakers, led the seminar proper.
“Long live the senior citizens,” Atty Catungal divulged as he lauded the active participation of the elders and quoted them as ‘well-productive members of the community.’
Some of the topics discussed during the convention were: human trafficking, privileges and discounts for elders in terms of goods and hospital bills, retirement bonus, dispensability of authorization letters to avail privileges and discounts.
Atty. Catungal further noted the importance of the identification (ID) card and other supporting papers, such as passport and birth certificates, to avail the privileges.
National Elderly Filipino Week is annually celebrated in the month of October by virtue of Proclamation No. 470 signed on September 26, 1994, by former President Fidel V. Ramos.
By Dexter A. See