Every year in October, senior citizens are given a day to run the affairs of the local government unit and national government agencies in celebration of the Elderly Filipino Week.
Last October 1, a teacher for more than 30 years and barangay chairman for nine years took over the seat of Philippine Information Agency (PIA) – Cordillera Regional Director Helen R. Tibaldo as the “Senior Citizen Official of the Day (SCOFAD)”
For a day, Lualhati barangay chairperson Norma Bustarde experienced how it is working with PIA. She attended the kapihan forum at the Benguet State University (BSU) for its 102nd foundation anniversary. The kapihan is a weekly program of PIA-CAR every Wednesday with special editions upon the request of partner agencies, as was the case that Monday.
There she reminisced her days as a teacher. "All my life has been service oriented, teaching is my passion that even after my retirement as teacher, I continue teaching in our barangay," Bustarde shared during the kapihan.
At the office, Tibaldo briefed her of her work and showed her documents which she attends to.
“I will cherish this day that I have a chance to be an officer of PIA, Bustarde said in thanking PIA Cordillera for the opportunity of serving as their SCOFAD.
By virtue of City Ordinance No. 57, s. 2009, every first Monday of October is known as the “Senior Citizens Officials of the Day (SCOFAD) in the City of Baguio.” Selected senior citizens are assigned in the offices of all elective and appointive officials and regional line agencies in Baguio for a day to intensify advocacy in promoting older persons rights and welfare.
This is also a way of encouraging senior citizens that age is not a hindrance of being productive members of the community.
This year’s Elderly Filipino Week theme is “Kilalanin at Parangalan: Tagasulong ng Karapatan ng Nakatatanda Tungo sa Lipunang Mapagkalinga.” By Joseph B. Zambrano (JDP/JBZ-PIA CAR)