FOR older persons, it is definitely a race against time.
With the onslaught of disasters and force majeure, life spans of people cannot be ascertained with absolute certainty and firmness. Accidents also create cessations to lives, cutting them short as least expected as what happened to the much-respected co-publisher of SunStar Pampanga: suddenly, he's gone.
There is universal recognition and respect for the civil rights of individuals, especially the seniors.
Even the United Nations recognizes the Philippine government's efforts to consider seriously that older persons are agents of change and development.
The Philippines "is committed to advance the wellbeing of older persons and remains committed in strengthening the promotion of all their human rights," so says Kira Christianne Azucena, the deputy Philippine permanent representative to the United Nations.
The country also has made significant efforts toward the upliftment of its senior citizens like: provision of universal health care, removing value-added tax on medications for the three common maladies of elders-diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension, cash incentives for centenarians and those reaching 90 and 95 years and inclusion of older persons in training and capacity-building activities.
Ms. Azucena described the plight of seniors succinctly thus: Older persons deserve respect, dignity and the full enjoyment of their rights. They deserve a special place in this journey where no one, especially not them, should be left behind.
Not only does the United Nations takes care of the elderly. Other groups and institutions, both national and local, look after the wellbeing of the seniors, who, at the prime of their lives, contributed immensely to the improvement of the lives of others.
In Mabalacat City, the seniors are well taken care of by the administration of City Mayor Crisostomo C. Garbo.
The more than 22,000 registered seniors receive their social pensions, medical and financial assistance, periodic check-ups and access to the other medical and pharmaceutical offices.
What is noteworthy is the focus given by Mayor Garbo as he makes it a point to visit the bedridden and ascertain their needs.
The burial and financial assistance is a given and is now institutionalized under Mayor Cris.