This year’s celebration of Elderly Filipino Week featured informative and entertaining events for the benefit the elderly.
The celebration kicked off with the annual Walk for Life, an event that brought together approximately 1,500 senior citizens and representatives from various local and national government units at the Music Hall of SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
The event was facilitated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Office of the Senior Citizens, in partnership with SM Cares, the corporate social responsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings, Inc.
Delegates from Social Security System, Coalition of Services of the Elderly, Department of Finance, PhilHealth, Bureau of Treasury, and other OSCA representatives from different cities across Metro Manila also joined the celebration.
Walk for Life started with a parade around the MOA complex and was followed by a short program featuring elderly groups from different municipalities.
During the event, DSWD Undersecretary Danilo Pamonag enjoined senior citizens to avail of the social pension by visiting the DSWD office.
“As of now, P3,000 is given to our senior citizens every six months, as their social pension. This is to help them with their daily expenses,” he said.
Two regional offices of Philhealth in Davao and Lucena tapped the SM Malls to conduct simultaneous Walk participated in by about 600 senior citizens per location.
After the morning parade, hundreds of senior citizens glammed up for the “Seniors’ Prom” held at the Skydome of SM City North Edsa. With music from award-winning local rock band, the Rockin’ 60s, the seniors danced the night away until the awarding of the Dance Duo and Prom King and Queen who each received a sash, a crown, and SM gift certificates.
Also part of the celebration was the annual Talakayan, a forum that informed the Filipino elderly about legislations concerning the sector. This included the discussion of various benefits that seniors can take advantage of such as the proposed amendment of the Republic Act 10868 or Centenarians Act of 2016 where senior citizens who would reach the age of 80 would be entitled to a cash incentive of P30,000, an additional P30,000 once they reach the age of 90, and the remaining P60,000 upon turning 100 years old.
Talakayan was led by NAPC, with support from DSWD, OSCA, and COSE. During the program, three centenarians were given P100,000 cash each.
“SM has been participating in this initiative since 2007 as we see the value of our senior citizens and their contributions to our country. We believe that by promoting this cause, we would be able to become better stewards of socially inclusive communities,” said SM Cares program director on senior citizens Danilo Chavez.
The annual observance of Elderly Filipino Week falls under Proclamation No. 470 issued on Sept. 26, 1994, which aims to increase public awareness on the different issues concerning the sector.