BONTOC, Mountain Province – Twenty-five senior citizens took over the management of the Bontoc Local Government Unit (LGU) on Monday, October 5, 2020, as part of the celebration of the Filipino Elderly Month.
Winifred Ananayo took over the seat of Mayor Franklin Odsey while Josephine Villanueva replaced Vice Mayor Eusebio Kabluyen for a day.
Sitting as Sangguniang Bayan members for a day were Marjorie Dizon, Florence Antonio, Judith Baawa, Nancy Ramos, Mario Kalang-ad, Federick Waclet, Barnabas Dapig, Josephine Fang-asan, Helen Farongyad, Dina Dagas, and Aida Buyagao.
Other senior citizens who took over the seats of the Department Heads for a day were Sangguniang Bayan Secretary Christine Gomez, Municipal Agriculturist Gloria Tangib, Municipal Planning and Development Officer Gertrude Calngan, Municipal Assessor Evelyn Saclangen, Municipal Health Officer Dorothy Villanueva, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Emelina Acoking, Municipal Engineer Julia Mocyat, Municipal Treasurer Felix Langcao, Local Civil Registrar Florence Taguiba, Municipal Accountant Elizabeth Sumilong, Municipal Budget Officer Virginia Lopez, and Municipal Legal Officer Evelyn Taguiba.
Mayor Odsey welcomed the senior citizens who were assigned to the different offices for the day. A senior citizen himself, the mayor in an interview, expressed his happiness that more male senior citizens are now participating in the celebration of the Filipino Elderly Month.
Under the Senior Citizens Code of Bontoc, all selected senior citizens shall act as Senior Citizens Officer for a Day (SCOFAD) in all elective (including ex-officio) and appointive (heads of offices including the Sangguniang Bayan Secretary) positions with a salary grade of at least 24. Thus, the SCOFAD- Mayor shall be entitled to an incentive of P2, 000, Vice Mayor – P1, 750.00, Sangguniang Bayan member – P1, 500 and Department Head – P1, 500. Likewise, the mayor assured the continuous support of the
Bontoc LGU to all undertakings of the senior citizens by implementing what has been stipulated in the Senior Citizens Code of Bontoc. Among the notable support to be provided by the Bontoc LGU to the senior citizens is the increase of yearly cash assistance of P10, 000 to each of the 16 barangays of Bontoc from the P8, 000 given in the previous years, and P20, 000 to the Municipal Federation of Senior Citizens Association. Said funds shall be used for the programs and activities of the senior citizens.
Aside from this, a death benefit assistance of P2, 000 shall be given to the nearest surviving relative who took care of the deceased senior citizen. However, it is required that the deceased senior citizen must have been a resident of Bontoc and that the wake and burial must have been done within the municipality. Further, the code adheres to the grant of 20 percent discount and exemption from the value-added tax, if applicable, on the sale of goods and services in all establishments, for the exclusive use and enjoyment or availment of senior citizens.
Republic Act 10868, which was crafted to honor senior citizens, also declared the first week of October as the Elderly Filipino Week.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Healthy and Productive Aging Starts with ME,” which seeks to promote the health, wellness, and productivity of senior citizens, particularly during the pandemic.
By Alpine L. Killa