Senior citizen commission designs programs to promote overall well-being of elderly

DAVAO CITY (PIA) — The National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) is designing several programs that center on promoting the dignity, security, and well-being of elders  in the country.

Dr. Ida Yap-Patron, Commissioner IV of NCSC Cluster 8 covering Regions XI and XIII, has emphasized that senior citizens can still contribute to nation-building by promoting their active citizenship, facilitating their development, and empowering them as lifelong learners.

“We also assure effective implementation for the advancement of active, productive, and healthy aging, establishing and enabling an environment for older persons,” she said during her guest appearance on Gobyernong Balitaan radio program of the Philippine Information Agency Davao Occidental over Energy FM Digos.

NCSC Commissioner Ida Yap-Patron discusses Republic Act 11350, or the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) Act, and its programs to promote the welfare of the Filipino senior citizens.

With the vision of Republic Act 11350, also known as the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) Act, key programs for senior citizens are being enhanced and will be introduced in the near future.

Yap-Patron, cited for instance, the Senior Citizens’ Action for Development and Nation-Building (SECADNA) program, which aims to create livelihood programs in communities and expand existing ones, potentially guiding senior citizens in sustaining their daily lives.

Another program is  Wellness, Health, Emergency Response, and Benefits (WHEREB),  which focuses on monitoring

the overall wellness and health of senior citizens. Yap-Patron introduced the concept of “social prescribing,” which means that older people should be part of a community where they can engage in conversations and relate to one another.

“Social prescribing ang tawag nila diyan. Sige’g yawyaw ang ating mga katigulangan at kailangan nilang pakinggan, kaya mag create tayo ng isang environment na pwede silang mag sharing doon, maglaro, sayaw-sayaw,” she explained.

(They call it social prescribing.. Our elders often love to chat and it’s important to listen to them. So, let’s create an environment where they can share, play, and even dance if they like.)

Moreover, the Senior Citizens’ Unit for Rights Enforcement (SECURE) program intends to assist senior citizens who are victims of abuse, while the Social Pension, Centenarian Benefits, Assistance to Older Persons in Need (SOCPEN) provides cash assistance to indigent senior citizens based on their qualifications.

Dr. Ida Yap-Patron, NCSC Commissioner, emphasizes that their vision is to create a community that values and upholds the dignity, security, and well-being of the elderly.

“Sa Davao, our senior citizens are lucky because they will also receive a counterpart of P100,000 in assistance for older persons in need from the local government unit,” Yap-Patron shared.

She also mentioned another program dubbed as PROPLALL, or the Programs, Plans, and Legislative Liaison, which centers on creating legislation through liaison, such as gathering senior citizens for conferences or summits to hear their suggestions, issues, and concerns as well as proposed solutions.

The NCSC will also push for the implementation of the Inter-Agency Coordination, which aims to establish

constant coordination and partnership with various agencies, including the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs, Senior Citizens Association, LGUs, non-government organizations, and World Health Organization.

“We also need the help of LGUs. Malaking tulong (It’s a big help), so we need to be coordinated. We have to have liaisons or linkages with the LGUs,” Yap-Patron emphasized.

A program on PACE, or the Participation, Communication, and Education, will also assist senior citizens who wish to go back to school and pursue education by providing support and resources.

Meanwhile, the Risk Assessment and Security Management Unit (RASMU) intends to prioritize senior citizens in crisis preparedness, such as floods, fires, and earthquakes, as they are the most vulnerable to such events.

In line with its vision, NCSC offers nine programs to support senior citizens in the country for their continuous contribution to nation-building.

Moreover, an Information and Communication Technology/Management Information System (ICT/MIS) will be put in place to include an elderly management system to manage senior citizens personal data both online and offline.

Yap-Patron also brought up a vision for creating inclusive residential facilities with reference toJapan’s community-based nursing homes for the elderly.

“Ang gusto natin ma create yong facilities na inclusive. Meaning to say na hindi natin ihiwalay ang nakakatanda sa kanyang community. So it’s a community that includes everybody,” she said.

(We want to create facilities that are inclusive, meaning that we will not separate the elderly from their community.)

“So our residential care focuses more on social welfare. Maliit lang. Na-isolate sila sa community. Wala ang presence ng ibang member ng family,” she added.

(It’s just small. They are isolated from the community. There is no presence of other members of the family.)

Yap-Patron said that four residential facilities have already been established in Tanay, Rizal, Quezon City, Tagum City, and Zamboanga. (NCAE/PIA Davao intern/Thumbnail photo from PhilHealth)

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