DAVAO CITY, Oct 11 (PIA)- The Department of Social Welfare and Development 11 culminated the “National Elderly Week Celebration,” Thursday (Oct. 10) by paying tribute and honor to the three of the ten “Ulirang Nakatatanda 2013” who hail from Davao Region in a simple rite at the regional office here.

Priscilla N. Razon, director of the DSWD 11 led in recognizing Norma Cansanas, 60, from Carmen, Davao del Norte who is motivated to serve the poor and the children because of her love of God and service.

She also expressed pride for Herminda Miones, 73, of Mati City, Davao Oriental who has dedicated her life supporting the pursuit for land rights of the Indigenous Peoples.

Razon also took cognizance to Julian Siarot, 91, a member of the Disaster Reduction Committee of Davao City who has saved lives in his service.

She said the three received P10,000 each and a plaque of appreciation during the national recognition slated at the Abott Lopez Hall of the San Beda College, Manila in October 6.

“Their recognition speaks of volumes of their exemplary lives by inspiring other senior citizens to purse civic mindedness and public service regardless of their age,” Razon said.

She said the government gives importance to the elderly sector by through the implementation the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens under Section 5 Republic Act No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, which gives additional assistance in the amount of Five Hundred Pesos (P500.00) monthly stipend to augment the daily subsistence and other medical needs of the elderly.

Razon said the services to senior citizens have been upgraded like discounts for medicines, food and transportation, access to express lanes in the banks, pharmacy and groceries.

She said a Regional Council and Monitoring Board has been set up to monitor the compliance of business establishments in giving discounts and access.

“The elderly can always file a grievance once they are denied of the privileges as guaranteed by Republic Act No. 9994,” Razon said.

She said many violations received were allegedly committed by small business establishments like small pharmacies which declined to sell medicines at a discounted prize.

Razon said the DSWD intervenes by conducting dialogue with these establishments for them to comply with the law extending privileges to the senior citizens.  PIA