Davao Norte elderly get updates on rights, privileges

DAVAO City–Elderly people still have a pivotal role to play in the progress of our country and they do not surrender their rights and privileges when they reached retirement age.

Such is the theme of the forum on Senior Citizen’s Rights and Concerns being held as integral part of the Friday outreach missions of the Convergence for Peace and Development program in the far-flung and depressed areas of the province of Davao del Norte.

Former Department of Energy (DOE) assistant secretary Leonilo Lariosa, consultant of the Council of the Elderly, known as the A.C.H.I.E.V.E.R.S.(Active, Caring, Happy, Inspired, Energetic, Volunteers for the Elderlies’ Welfare, Rights and PrivilegeS), said older people all the same have much to offer provided that they are given the opportunity to live longer and healthier.

“We are telling our fellow citizens in isolated and disadvantaged communities that life does not end at 60 and that they still have much to offer,” he said.

After the senior citizens have availed of the generous health, medical, social, and other services at the convergence, Lariosa’s group gives them orientation on the provisions of Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 that grants additional benefits and special privileges to order persons.

He said that since the law is relatively new, it is important that the elderly, especially those in the remote barangays, become familiar with the provisions of the law, particularly the benefits that are entitled to them.

These benefits include the grant of 20 percent discount and exemption from the value-added tax on the sale of goods and services, such as medicines and medical supplies, use of medical facilities, professional services, public transportation, restaurants, hotels, and the likes.

Lariosa even provides lecture on healthy lifestyle, essential to keep their minds sharp and their bodies active to prevent diseases due to ageing.

In support to Governor Rodolfo Del Rosario’s P.E.O.P.L.E. agenda, the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs organized the A.C.H.I.E.V.E.R.S., which now gives advises to the governor on matters concerning the promotion of the well-being, rights and privileges of older persons in the province.

“The mission of our group is to give our fellow elderly the opportunity to live longer, happier, as well as, ever ALIVE,” he concluded, spelling out their battlecry for an Active, Lively, Inspired and Vibrant Elderly sector.

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