SUN Awards highlights Elderly Filipino Week celebration

All is set for this year’s Sampung Ulirang Nakatatanda or SUN Awards as part of the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC)-led country-wide celebration of Elderly Filipino Week slated October 1-7.

The conferring of Ten Outstanding Older Persons is spearheaded by the Coalition of Services of the Elderly, Inc. (COSE) in recognition of our senior citizens’ important and valuable contributions and services to the society. 

For the past 32 years, COSE has acknowledged and awarded unsung older persons who have made difference on the lives of many and have given exemplary services to their communities. Most of them farmers, indigenous people, women, human rights defenders and persons with disabilities.

According to NCSC Commissioner Dr. Ida Yap-Patron, who is a member of the SUN Board of Judges, COSE has received 122 nominations from 72 cities/municipalities in 35 provinces this year. 

The former Academic Vice President and Dean of College of Philippine Women’s College of Davao, added that validation of nominees have actually started and it has since been trimmed down to 25 finalists.

The Elderly Week celebration is anchored on Proclamation No. 470, s. 1994, issued by former President Fidel V. Ramos. It is declared every first week of October referred to as Linggo ng Katandaang Filipino or Elderly Week to give importance to elderly Filipinos in nation-building. 

The week-long celebration is now spearheaded by the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) based on the mandate of RA 11350, specifically referring to the transfer of programs, functions and activities that used to be under the Department of Social Welfare and Development.  

With the mandate of taking the lead in this celebration, the NCSC headed by its Chairman, Atty. Franklin Quijano, has lined up a massive, air-tight schedule of activities following the theme Older Persons: Resilience for Nation-Building.

Among the groups that have been tapped to help the NCSC are the National Government Agencies (NGAs) National Government Organizations (NGOs) Local Government Units (LGUs) Senior Citizens Organizations/Associations Federation of Senior Citizens of the Philippines (FSCAP), private organizations, religious groups and the civil society. 

Also expected to collaborate and provide assistance are the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Commission of Human Rights (CHR).

Kicking off the week-long celebration on October 1, is a national opening ceremony held in the National Capital Region with similar activities set simultaneously in various regions and provinces throughout the country. 

Adopting American poet and author Irwin Allen Ginsberg’s Seven Cs of Resilience, the proposed calendar of activities for the Elderly Filipino Week will be as follows:

Saturday, October 1: With the theme Confidence, the set of activities starts with the opening ceremonies, which will highlight the Achievements of Older Persons. Other events include Documentary-Feature:  Saludo kay Lolo at Lola, Libreng Sakay for all Senior citizens in cooperation with the Department of Transportation (DoTr), and National ID Express Booths for senior citizens care of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in shopping malls and barangay halls or OSCA offices for the entire Elderly Week celebration.

Sunday, October 2: Themed Contribution of Older Persons and Their Impact to Others, activities include Cente-Sinta in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). 

Monday, October 3: Themed Coping mentally, emotionally and physically and strategies to relax and cope with stress, activities include official Announcement of the Elderly Celebration after the Flag Ceremony, TeleKonsulta with the Department of Health (DoH) and other Health & Wellness-related Activities.

Tuesday, October 4: With the theme, Control Circles of concern, influence and control, activities include an Open Public Forum-Ideal Retirement Life (Armed Forces of the Philippines Initiative in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other private organizations.

Wednesday, October 5: Themed Connection – Sense of belongingness, network and support given and received by others, activities include Walk for life with DOH and PhilHealth and Free Medical, Dental, Hearing Screening Test in cooperation with DOH, PSO and PDA.

Thursday, October 6: With the theme Character – Values Leading with good values and character, activities include Open Forum and Documentary/Feature presentation with the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and DSWD on the topic: Resilience of Older Women in the Face of Environmental, Social, Economic and Lifelong inequalities.

Friday, October 7: Themed Competence – Special Skills and Competencies, activities include the SUN Awards care of COSE, Ceremonial Signing of Memorandum of Agreement between NCSC and PhilHealth, Launching of AFCC pilot sites, national closing ceremonies and other culmination activities.

Helping Chairman Quijano put up this herculean task are the indefatigable men and women of the NCSC, who banded themselves into various committees and work on their specific roles and functions.

Actively spearheading the Elderly Week programs and activities in their respective clustered regions are Chairman Franklin Quijano (National Capital Region), Comm. Reymar Mansilungan (Regions 1, 2 and 3 including the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR) while Comm Rainier Cruz takes care of Southern Luzon, Regions 4A, 4B and 5.

Commissioner Ida Yap-Patron handles Regions 9, 11, 13 and other parts of BARMM and Zamboanga Peninsula, Comm. Edwin Espejo takes charge of Regions 10, 12 and some parts of BARMM and Zambo Peninsula while Comm. Enriqueta Roncal-Rodeles handles most parts of the Visayas region.

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