Elderly Week in the Philippines

During the term of then-president Fidel V. Ramos, a proclamation was sent out recognizing the first week of October as the “Elderly Filipino Week”. It was signed on the 26th of September in 1994 by virtue of the Proclamation No. 470. The said proclamation was to create awareness on the wellbeing of the elderly and to promote the value and impact of Filipino elderlies to the Philippines.  Since then, the celebration has been held every year to honor senior citizens across the archipelago.

This year, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will lead the annual nationwide observance of Elderly Filipino Week (EFW) on the first week of October. The theme “Kilalanin at Parangalan: Tagasulong ng Karapatan ng Nakatatanda Tungo sa Lipunang Mapagkalinga” aims to honor senior citizens who helped shape today’s Filipino generation. The said theme is also in line with the 2018 vision of the United Nations International Day for Older Persons (UNIDOP) which is a tribute to elderly people fighting for older persons’ rights. The event spearheaded by DSWD was held at the Quezon Memorial Circle with its kick-off activity, “Walk for Life”, last September 30. More than 1,700 senior citizens from 17 local government units in the heart of the metro were present in the said event. In addition to that, the National Steering Committee (NSC) has lined-up activities for the senior citizens to enjoy during the EFW. Some of these activities include “Kwento ni Lolo, Kwento ni Lola”, Talakayan 2018, Coronation of Ms. FSCAP Quezon City, Dalaw Kalinga, Wellness Camp, and Sampung Ulirang Nakatatanda (SUN) Awards. The senior citizens will also have the privilege to ride MRT and LRT stations for free. For the LRT stations, the freebie will start from October 1-7, 7AM to 9AM and 5PM to 7PM and as for the MRT stations, it’s free for the whole day on the 3rd, 6th, and 7th of October.

According to Secretary Virginia N. Orogo, the DSWD secretary, the current pension system in the Philippines is still a long way from providing a basic income security guarantee that all Filipinos can look forward to in their old age. Nevertheless, other partners and NGOs are trying to work hard on closing the gap and improving the implementation of the Social pension program to better the lives of Filipino senior citizens.