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Iloilo honors ‘most elderly-friendly’ LGUs

ILOILO CITY (PIA6) – The Iloilo provincial government has recognized the most elderly-friendly Local Government Units (LGUs) in the province that have given importance to prioritizing the welfare of senior citizens in the community.

Ann Rapunzel “Rara” Ganzon, technical assistant division chief and social welfare officer of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), in an interview, emphasized the importance of taking care the senior citizens, noting that just like PWDs, they are considered a marginalized sector and their needs must also be prioritized.

During the awarding ceremony on Nov. 13, 2023, Pototan LGU was declared as the Most Senior Citizen-Friendly Municipality in the province, receiving a cash prize worth P50,000 and a plaque of recognition from the provincial government.

Ganzon said that Pototan has programs and projects for the elderly that are worthy of emulation, citing that the community participation of the senior citizens in the town “is significantly high.”

Among the programs and projects for senior citizens implemented by Pototan include the construction of a building to serve as venue for senior citizens’ events and activities; social pension from the LGU aside from the pension from the DSWD; active community participation; and providing livelihood to senior citizens.

On the other hand, Concepcion town received P30,000 as the first runner-up, and Leganes LGU received P20,000 as the second runner-up, while other finalists out of the 43 LGUs in Iloilo include Dingle, Lambunao, Janiuay and Zarraga.

The winners were judged by validators evaluators from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Provincial Health Office (PHO), Public Information and Communications Affairs Office (PICAO), and PSWDO on the criteria of community participation, health and social services, protection measures, institution building, and the provision of a work and financial plan in the LGU’s programs and projects for the elderly.

Ganzon added that zero crimes committed by or victimizing elderly people are vital factors as this is a proof that the welfare of the senior citizens are being taken care of.

Ganzon is also looking forward to more LGUs participating in the contest next year and hoped that the recognition would inspire them to replicate the programs of other towns and prioritize the well-being of the senior citizens.

“It inspired other municipalities to recognize that the sectors in their communities can contribute. In general, it is very inspiring because with their age, they already left us with a remarkable legacy but at their age they don’t stop helping and contributing for the improvement of Iloilo,” she said. (AAL/JNH/PIA Iloilo)

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John Noel Herrera

Information Officer

Region 6

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