Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Programs to draw full participation of elderly sought

Cebu City (10 October) -- Officials of the various elderly groups in Central Visayas demanded that they be given opportunity to contribute to the process of community building even in their late years.

Mr. Jose Gapas of the Mag-uugmad Foundation and a member of the Central Visayas Association of Volunteer Efforts (CVAVE), in a forum here Wednesday, stressed that the senior citizens are still willing to share their experience and expertise for the benefit of the community.

"As a repository of extensive experience, we still would like to contribute to the advancement of society," Gapas, a former regional chief of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), said.

According to Gapas, the present program for the elderly seems to be welfare-focused that it tends to develop dependency on their part.

He said a more holistic program for the elderly that can draw their full participation in social processes is needed.

This can be realized, he said, if each of the local government units will create their own Office of Senior Citizens' Affairs (OSCA) that will oversee local programs for the elderly.

Engr. Felix Abella, President of the Regional Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines - Central Visayas Chapter, meanwhile, informed that the Federation had been conducting advocacy efforts to LGUs to create an office for OSCA.

Out of the 132 towns and cities in the region, 70 have already responded to their request by creating their own OSCA, Abella further informed. (PIA 7/ECD)

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