Monday, October 17, 2011


Gender : Female
Date of Birth : November 23, 1944
Age : 67
Name of City : Caloocan City
Country : Philippines
Language : Filipino
Language used in video : Filipino

My mother was pregnant with me when my family moved to Romblon in 1944 during World War II to escape from the cruelty of the Japanese soldiers. Fighting continued until Japan's formal surrender on September 2, 1945. The Philippines had suffered great loss of life and tremendous physical destruction by the time the war was over. An estimated 1 million Filipinos had been killed; a large proportion during the final months of the war, and Manila was extensively damaged. I am almost a year old when my family has decided to move back to Caloocan City (a city part of Metro Manila) in 1945.

I did not finish my study because I came from a poor family. I have only attained grade six level in elementary. Life has been very difficult for us.

I have been lucky to find a job to help support my family financially. I met my soon to be husband and was formally introduced to me by my older brother. His name was Martin and we became friends. He was working as a gasoline boy then and as a thoughtful young man he has visited me always in my workplace and we eat lunch together. The factory that I am working with is very near the gasoline station where he works. Our friendship has gone to a deeper relationship.

In February 1966, I was 22 then, Martin and I decided to get married. We have been blessed with seven children. Though we were experiencing hardships in life, we still managed to live happily. My husband has finished his employment contract in the gasoline station. He was fortunate enough to get another job as a factory worker making rain boots. As a wife, aside from attending to daily household chores and keeping our children, I helped my husband in selling lottery tickets for us to have extra income to raise our children and to have a sustainable living.

In 1977, at the age two, my fourth child has passed away due to wrong diagnosis of sickness. She was given medications for poliomyelitis (polio) and not knowing that she was actually having inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord known as meningitis. If the doctors have had diagnosed my daughter with meningitis, she should had lived longer. This was really a very painful experience for both of us. I almost lost my mind because I love my children so much and they served an inspiration for both of us.

Life must go on and we have to move on. We continue to sell lottery tickets because this was a big help for my family. We became fortunate when a sold ticket won the lottery. We have got a commission from the pot money and we were able to buy a house and lot. My two children have finished their studies and earned a degree. My other two children have graduated high school. We also have a special child. This was an unforgettable experience for all of us.

As time passed by, my husband became sickly as he aged. Selling lottery tickets was no longer easy for us. The sale of the tickets has slowly weakened. During these times, my sister was a member of elderly association in Sangandaan and she has invited me to attend meetings regularly until I decided to join the group in 1998.

2006 was really a terrifying year for me. In July, my son, who is married, has died from an accident. This was really painful to a mother like me who had lost a son. While recovering from pains, in two months’ time, September 2006, my husband had died from a heart attack. I've been feeling pretty down in the dumps that day. He’s a very supportive father to my family and now I am left alone.

The demise of my husband had changed my world differently. It took me more than two years to recover from all the pains. I have to make myself busy all the time to forget everything. I put part of my time to actively participate in the activities of elderly association in my place apart from maintaining a mini-store to sustain our daily needs.

I am thankful that I have become member of the association. It gives me an inspiration to work with other older person. I have learned a lot from the group. I was able to attend trainings on community gerontologist and advocacy awareness about the rights of older persons in the country.

It has been a meaningful experience with me as a community gerontologist; I got the chance to visit sickly older persons to monitor their blood pressure and talked to them when needed. Older persons needed someone to talk to because most of the time they are left alone. This gives me strengths to really work hard in the service of the older people.

In 2008, all my efforts have already borne fruits. My fellow older persons in the community have nominated me for “Sampung Ulirang Nakatatanda” (Ten Outstanding Elderly). Luckily, I was chosen as one of the awardees. I am very proud of such achievement and it made me a lot more dedicated and inspired in the service of older people.

This would be my legacy to my children. I want them to learn how to be humble in whatever they do. They should also learn how to fight and stand for their right just like with what we are up to for the rights of older people. It is also necessary to love the family as well as others.

Older person like me could still do things and could still contribute to the development of the community. We need to be respected; and should be given the needed support/assistance especially for those who are abandoned by their own families. As part of the advocacy of older persons, we fought for the rights of older persons especially the social pension for the poorest elderly. RA 9994 has been implemented for a year now and I am very happy because I am one of the older persons who rallied and lobbied for the social pension to be signed into a law and I am proud of that achievement.

This year’s Age Demands Action campaign, we are pushing for the complete implementation of the law. We wanted the lead agency, the Department of Social Welfare and Development to make a credible list of pensioners qualified for the social pension. I have been hopeful that the pension would benefit the right beneficiaries.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Press Conference of ADA Philippine Campaign 2011

Everything was already set - venue was ready; visitors were already settled in their respective seats as well as the panelists. Oops! where are the invited media people who would cover this event? Feared that nobody would come from the media because typhoon "QUIEL" (International Name: NALGAE) would hit Luzon, once more, just to try my luck, I tried contacting the media. Unfortunately, most of them regret to come because they were deployed in areas that would be affected by "Quiel" especially the northern part of Luzon. Too bad! I went outside the venue hoping the press would come.

Then suddenly one came from DWIZ, a radio network... another one came from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, most read broadsheet in the country... and finally the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN) arrived. We started the press conference at once. 

I felt relieved and the tension has gone. Despite all the challenges that may hinder Age Demands Action (ADA) Campaign in the Philippines -  with all the typhoons hitting the Philippines - the press conference was a success! Voices of older people are heard!

"TEMPORARILY SUSPEND SOCIAL PENSION IF IT DOES NOT BENEFIT THE MAJORITY OF THE ELDERLY POOR" written in big letters was made as a backdrop to catch attention of the press people. They stayed all through out the event and carefully listened to the panelists of their issues and concerns in the implementation of Social Pension.

Three older persons were among the panelists - Mr. Dioscoro Benalla, President of Confederations of Older Peoples' Associations of the Philippines, Inc. (COPAP); Mr. Roberto Garlitos, COPAP Vice-President; and Mr. Cris Migrino, of PILKAN; including Congressman Godofredo Arquiza. Other visitors came to represent LGU - Barangay Graceville in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.

Articles were published in the broadsheet and in website. Below are the links:

     Seniors urge DSWD to stop 'social pension'

Union of Catholic Asian News
     Elderly Filipinos want better pensions
     Elderly Filipinos want wider pension coverage      
This is just a beginning of a much longer process of assuring proper implementation of the hard earned victory of older persons.

Walk for Life

ADA Press Conference - October 1, 2011

TV Appearance of Salvacion Basiano (GMA-7 Network)

TV Appearance of Salvacion Basiano Video Clip

ADA Campainers Joined the Annual Walk for Life

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dialogue/Meeting of OPAs with appropriate agencies has been scheduled

Sixty-two (62) OP leaders/officers – 15 males; and 47 females – from different federations representing their own areas and regions attended a follow-up meeting on the preparation for the Age Demands Action campaign on addressing issues and concerns on the implementation of social pension in the Philippines was undertaken after the initial meeting held on August 15.

To address issues and concerns on social pension, OPA federations which are members of Confederation of Older People’s Association of the Philippines (COPAP) will conduct a dialogue/meeting with their respective municipal leaders; local government unit; Office of the Senior Citizens Affair (OSCA) to discuss and find out who the recipients/beneficiaries of the social pension are. The Department of Interior and Local Government will be invited. (see table below for schedules)

Quezon City
September 12, 2011
Still working on with the schedule
San Juan
Still working on with the schedule
September 6, 2011
Still working on with the schedule
Still working on with the schedule
Still working on with the schedule
September 27, 2011
September 27, 2011
September 27, 2011
September 29, 2011
Still working on with the schedule
Still working on with the schedule
Still working on with the schedule
Still working on with the schedule
Still working on with the schedule
Still working on with the schedule
San Mateo
Still working on with the schedule
San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan
Still working on with the schedule
GMA Cavite
September 20, 2011
Still working on with the schedule

It was also planned after the “Walk of Life” on October 1, OPAs will stage a press conference with the key people in the presence of Sec. Dinky Soliman of DSWD and Sen. Pia Cayetano, who sponsored the RA 9994, to further present results of the implementation of social pension.

The legislation/law has already been enacted for almost a year but there are problems in its implementation. Many poor older people were not included in the list of beneficiaries that should receive social pension. In line with the celebration of “Elderly Filipino Week” on October 1–7, it’s very timely to act to ask for the temporary suspension of the implementation of the social pension until the government come up with a credible data or lists of social pensioners.

In the National Capital Region (NCR), out of more than 2,000 beneficiaries of the social pension coming from different cities – based on the data from Regional Coordinating and Monitoring Board (RCMB) – just over 1,000 were given social pension to date. According to Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), beneficiaries included in the list were already dead; returned to their respective provinces and moved to a different place. These indicate that the data gathered have problems. Since the surveyors were being paid according to output, they need to reach their target quota. Unfortunately, those older people who were residing in a remote place have not been reached.

Introducing the Spokesperson for ADA

"Tatay" Epifanio Correz, 79 years old, from Valenzuela City has been selected to represent the older persons for the issues on social pension. He is an example of a poor elderly but excluded from the list of those receiving social pension. He can hardly walk because of old age and he is using a cane to ease problem of walking. He even has to skip meals and cannot afford to seek medical advice because he is financially incapacitated. Sometimes he got support from a relative who seldom visited him. He lives away from his family and is not receiving any support from them – his wife and children live in Mindanao – 958.96 kilometers away from Valenzuela City.




Age Demands Action is funded by:


Friday, August 26, 2011

ADA Preparatory Meeting

Thirty-five (35) OPA leaders coming from the different parts of Metro Manila and nearby regions attended the preparatory meeting for Age Demands Action (ADA) on August 15, 2011 at Coalition of Services of the Elderly, Inc. (COSE) office. Identifying priority issues for ADA campaign this year; details of the preparation for October 1, 2011 meeting with the policy makers and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); and identifying the ADA spokesperson (coordinator) in the Philippines were the agendas discussed. The meeting lasted for three hours – from 9:00AM to 1:00PM.

The major discussion was centered on how the social pension is being implemented at present. Based on the observations, the older people felt the new law is not well implemented especially on Social Pension. Recent research that has been carried out by the older people on “Poorest of the Poor Older People” in the communities revealed that these poorest of the poor among the poor older people are not on the list of pensioners.

Leaders expressed doubts about the accuracy of the data of the social pensioners of DSWD, the government’s lead agency in implementing the social pension.

The older people decided that their main demands this year would be:

  1. To ask the government to improve their data on who is actually supposed to be qualified on the list of pensioners.
  2. They want the government to suspend the implementation of social pension until the government can come up with credible data or list of the social pensioners maximizing the full participation of the older people associations.
The tag line of their Demand "SUSPEND SOCIAL PENSION IF IT DOES NOT GO TO THE POOREST OF THE POOR" (This statement appears to draw attention of the media because they were the ones who pushed for the law and are now calling for its suspension.)

The participants also identified the older person spokesperson, Mr. Epifanio Corres, 79 years old. He was not present in the meeting but will attend the meeting on August 17, 2011.

The leaders discussed in detail how to go about the ADA activity; leaders will gather data on those with a social pension and those who do not have one. They will meet and talk with some key people in their local governments especially those involved in implementing the social pension - secretary of DSWD and Senator Pia Cayetano, author of Social Pension law on October 1, 2011.

The meeting was presided over by the Mr. Dioscoro Benalla, President of the Confederation of Older People’s Associations of the Philippines (COPAP). Overview of ADA objective was presented by Mr. Fransiskus Kupang, Executive Director of COSE.

Age Demands Action is funded by: