Residents at the Home for the Aged.
DSWD Home for the Aged: A Kiwanis legacy
Tagum City –Founded by the Kiwanis Club of Tagum City in 1978, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Home for the Aged here has tremendously evolved from serving less than ten elderly residents to a total of 60 now.
The Home offers services such as social, health, medical, psychological as well as home life and group work sessions. It also facilitates reintegration of older persons to the family.
With its 21 staffs, volunteers and friends, the Home will celebrate its 38th Anniversary this month with a Thanksgiving Mass, Awards Ceremony, Zumba Alay Kay Lolo at Lola, Medical Check-up and also Operation Gupit, Massage, Manicure and Pedicure.
In 1978, Benjamin “Bag” Gonzales, a devoted Kiwanian here, donated his 1,000 square meter-lot in the then secluded area in Brgy. Visayan Village for the establishment of a Center that will render specialized care for the abandoned, neglected and unattached older persons.
It was envisioned that the Home for the Aged shall be a place that could provide a refuge to the disadvantaged and homeless older persons in their twilight years and even when they are still physically-able.
In 1980, following a thorough evaluation and assessment, the Kiwanis Club of Tagum decided to turn over its brainchild project to the proper agency -the then Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD), now known as DSWD.
The Kiwanians bequeathed a legacy of an unconditional service which DSWD vowed to develop and sustain.
The Provincial Branch Office of MSSD headed by Melitona V. Boaqueňa, took the helms of the Center operation.
During the transition period, pending the formalization of organizational structuring and policy formulation and with 20 residents to cater, the Center was ably managed by four staffs led by officer-in-charge Esterlina Espiritu.
Following a consultative planning in 1983, Erlinda B. Flordeliz took over as Center Head.
Friends of the Home
The civic-minded individuals who pioneered the institutionalization of the Center never ceased to provide support throughout the years. In 1981, filled with vigor and commitment, they united to organize the Tagum Friends of the Home, Inc. (TFHI).
The first president of the Tagum Friends of the Home, Inc. (TFHI) was Atty. Jovito Bermudez, who was also president of Kiwanis Club of Tagum.
Upon the demise of Atty. Bermudez, vice-president, Luz T. Pereyras, who was also president of Soroptimist Club of Tagum, took over as president.
Elections were held every two (2) years. Luz T. Pereyras was elected and subsequently re-elected. Having served close to 10 years, Luz T. Pereyras then relinquished to Pedro B. San Jose the presidency of the foundation.
In 2010, TFHI was accredited by the Provincial Government of Davao del Norte.
Since its creation, TFHI has contributed significantly to the general objectives of the DSWD Home for the Aged and has remained a dynamic organization to date.
Heeding the suggestion of then DSWD Assistant Regional Director Ruel G. Lucentales [who rose to become Assistant Secretary], TFHI Board of Directors converted TFHI into a foundation.
Documentations for the TFHI were approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). However, adhering to SEC new rules and policies, TFHFI decided to re-categorize its organization as an Association.
The group finally became Association of the Friends of the Home for the Aged, Inc. (AFHAI) in 2011.
In 2012, AFHAI received its accreditation from the DSWD National Office through the Standards Bureau.
AFHAI constantly supported the Center. From a mere 1,000 square meter-lot in 1978, the Center has progressed into a sprawling 4,106 square meter-complex when adjacent lots were donated by AFHAI members Moises Reyes in 1991 and Sabino Rala in 1997.
To accommodate more disadvantaged older persons and provide ample space for each resident to move about, DSWD acquired a three-hectare property in Barangay San Jose, Monkayo, Compostela Valley Province in 1993.
A Home for the Aged extension was built shortly with a 10-bed capacity and furnished with complete basic facilities.
Currently, the Home for the Aged also serves as a Social Laboratory where students of Nursing, Physical Therapy, Medicine, and even Caregivers learn proper care and management of older persons as they obtain a more meaningful understanding and handling of the aging process. (DSWD)