The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is calling on the Filipino public and all the sectors of the country to create a more compassionate and caring society for seniors this Elderly Filipino Week (EFW).

The week-long event, which started on October 1and will last until October 7, wants to acknowledge the contributions of the senior citizen population in the Philippines’ nation-building and offer them greater protection. 

“The Department urges all sectors to work together in building a caring society where the rights of older persons are protected and respected,” DSWD said in a statement.

According to DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista, seniors play a crucial role in Filipino society and for their families, especially during this pandemic. 

“Naniniwala ako na sa kabila ng limitasyon at balakid dulot ng iba’t ibang sirkumstansya gaya ng pandemya, ay marami pa rin sa mga senior citizen ang patuloy na nagtatrabaho para sa kanilang mga pamilya, at nag-aambag sa ating komunidad,” Bautista shared. 

To help seniors during the COVID-19 crisis, DSWD is continuously providing support through its social pension program and the centenarian incentive.

“Amid granular lockdown in some areas, the DSWD continues to distribute the stipend of indigent senior citizen-beneficiaries of the social pension program across the country,” it said.

“Further, the Department continues to provide the centenarians with the P100,000 incentives as mandated by Republic Act No. 10868 or the Centenarians Act of 2016 in honor of their longevity and contributions to nation building,” the department added.

This year’s EFW has the theme “MahALAGA sina Lolo at Lola Ngayong Pandemya.” It’s being lead by the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) in collaboration with the DSWD, different national government agencies, non-government organizations, and senior citizens’ organizations.

NCSC Chairman Atty. Franklin Quijano doubled down on the need to alleviate the situation of seniors in the country during this pandemic. 

“The NCSC urges the government, from the national to the local levels, to undertake the necessary steps to heighten the focus in improving the lives of our senior citizens, in all aspects of their lives. Let us all pray that we will be liberated from this pandemic, pray for mutual love and protection, that our nation will once again be restored into the path of strength, resiliency and progress,” Quijano said.

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