As a way of paying forward to the community, Pisay-BRC invited senior citizens for a poverty alleviation and health program on August 31, 2016 dubbed as Busog-Kusog si Lolo at Lola.
38 senior citizens mostly from the different barangays of Goa attended the half-day activity which commenced through a free blood pressure taking and health teaching simultaneous with the registration. Meanwhile, to set the mood of the guest seniors and make them at ease, they were dared to showcase their talents, may it be in singing or dancing, for a prize. 16 lolos and lolas accepted the challenge and displayed their singing prowess and dancing stint.
Mr. Mark Del Rosario and Mr. Francis Barrio of the PEHM Unit demonstrated to the small crowd of senior citizens some simple body exercises which they can execute daily even at the comforts of their homes. The stronger seniors were also invited to participate in group and individual games that tested their flexibility and memory even at old age. Almost all didn’t want to miss the fun.
When asked about their expectations from the newly elected Philippine President, most of the seniors present are asking for financial support aside from the Philhealth benefits they currently enjoy since most live below poverty line and has no one to depend on.
Before attending the senior citizens’ event in Pisay, Lola Juana Barnido, 67, came from the Town Infirmary for a medical check-up but complained of the expensive prescriptions. “Dawa pa man ngani libre ang check-up, mahal man ang mga bulong. May reseta pero mayo man akong pambakal [Even if the medical check-ups are free of charge, I have no money to buy the prescribed medicines],” she said.
Lola Lydia Cea, 70, said that seniors’ needs are not limited to healthcare. “Dawa ang pang oroaldaw ming pangangaipo kaipohan mi pang bungguon [even our daily basic needs are too difficult to find],” she lamented. Lola Lydia lives with her equally old husband in a small hut in the outskirts of a private subdivision in Goa. She said that she has no one to depend on since her only daughter also has a family to support.
The guest senior citizens are grateful to Pisay especially for the relief goods that were given away at the end of the program. “Dakulang tabang ini samo ta sa panahon ngunyan masakit bagang hanapon ang bagas [This is already a big help to us since life is difficult nowadays],” said Lola Amelia Macuja, 61.
There were a total of 87 recipients of the relief goods including relatives and chosen beneficiaries of Pisay-BRC employees who could not come due to either proximity or health concerns.