DAGUPAN CITY – Elective officials in Pangasinan should take a serious look in Valenzuela City’s program on senior citizens.
Valenzuela City mayor Sherwin Gatchalian said that these citizens are largely ignored, taken for granted and seen as burden in a society which puts premium in youth.
“But not in Valenzuela City, where they’re getting the attention and respect due them,” he stressed.
Showing its care and concern for its old population, Valenzuela City is set to launch its own senior citizen center that will cater to the needs of the aged and abandoned senior citizens.
“We are supposed to honor our fathers and mothers. That is our Filipino culture. We take care of the old and the aged and provide them the best service that we can,” Gatchalian said.
In the scheme of things, he pointed out that concerns involving senior citizens are generally overlooked since they are seen more as burdens to society.
On the other hand, social services of many local government units are focused towards the young, those children in conflict with the law and women issues.
While such issues demand priority attention, Gatchalian said problems involving the old and the aged should also get consideration.
“We should not look at them as liabilities. They deserve our respect and care, ” he said.
Gatchalian observed that there are many senior citizens who lived in the streets, sickly and abandoned by their families.
Extreme poverty has pushed these family members to forsake their aged family members.
“These people also have dignity. In Valenzuela City, we want them to reclaim that dignity,” he said.
Gatchalian said the city government has entered into a tie-up with a religious sector to operate the senior citizens center to be put up by Valenzuela City.
He said the center will be launched next month.
Housing and shelter is one of the major cornerstones of Gatchalian’s public service programs.
Recently, the city government opened the Disiplina Village, an in- city resettlement for informal settlers who were victims of typhoon Ondoy.About 600 families will be beneficiaries of the project, where tenants will only pay P300 month for the rent of their 23 square-meter condo units or an equivalent of only P10/day (MCO)..