13 senior citizens aged 100-104 years old, regarded as “centenarians” received recognition and P100,000 cash on Valentine’s Day.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Maguindanao held a Valentine’s Day for Bangsamoro ultra senior citizens. In a symbolic rite, the 13 centenarians were gathered and appreciated.
Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu was in attendance along with the Philippine Social Welfare Officer Emma Ali and other stakeholders.
The centenarians were given a “A Letter of Felicitation” from the President of the Philippines congratulating the celebrant for his or her longevity. A Centenarian Gift in the amount of one hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) was also personally handed out by Governor Mangudadatu to each of the centenarians.
The award and recognition was in pursuant to Republic Act 10868 or the Centenarians Act of 2016.
The DSWD initially validated 17 centenarians in Maguindanao under the government’s social pension program. But according to Provincial Social Welfare Officer Emma Ali, four of them passed away a few months before the DSWD central office could download the P1.7-million fund for the social pension program.
However, DSWD officials confirmed that the cash pensions of similar amount to the four deceased centenarians in Maguindanao will still be handed to their surviving family within this month.
The celebration was done in a local restaurant with the centenarians being assisted by their families.
Feliza Labio Curpuz, one of the recipients, expressed her happiness over the recognition. She said that even if they don’t have “any love-life to celebrate on Valentine’s Day, the cash we received meant a lot to make us happy in our remaining days on earth.”