LAST year, the elderly sector have reasons to be jubilant. Firstly, is the creation of the Senior Citizens Commission (SSC) which is mandated to take-over the dispensation of statutorily-granted benefits to senior citizens. Hopefully, this administrative streamlining will get rid of the present bureaucratic mess that breeds contemptuous delay in the availment of much-needed assistance to intended beneficiaries. This is particularly true with regards to medical/hospitalization-related benefits. Our elderlies are eagerly waiting in the wings for the actual operation of the Commission soon.
Secondly, is the construction of the new senior citizens building located at the Provincial Capitol Compound. This edifice is looked upon as a monument of recognition and respect to their invaluable contribution to nation-building. Yet, such honor will be fully gratifying should initiative be undertaken so that the formal turnover of the building will enable the officers of the Federation of Senior Citizens Association of Pampanga (FESCAP) to effectively discharge their expanded duties and responsibilities under the SSC.
Also worth acknowledging is the financial donation of our businessman-cabalen, Manny V. Pangilinan or MVP as he is fondly called and the annual gift-giving of PAGCOR under Chairman Andrea Domingo. These acts of solicitude brought cheers and feeling of caring to Pampanga’s seniors as they celebrate Christmas. I must apologize though for my inability to convey the formal resolution of gratitude to MVP. I will endeavor to make up for my shortcomings sooner or later. As to PAGCOR, the beneficiaries personally manifested their thanks.
This time, with the seasonal glitters, goodwill and gift-giving in place, the question arises: will it be a happy Christmas for 2019? To answer this question in the context of greater national import, it is essential to transcend personal and sectoral well-being. Such call to national interest is especially compelling this year in view of a political windfall rarely seen in Philippine politics. This refers to the electoral triumph of a few now incumbent local officials who exhibited political will in restoring order, discipline, cleanliness and transparency within their respective jurisdictions. This loyalty to public service and adherence to the rule of law is in direct contempt to the self-serving preoccupation of their predecessors.
The constituencies of these promising political rockstars, particularly those in Metropolitan Manila, led by Manileños, deserve emulation. And if replicated en masse will usher in the long-sought socio-economic transformation sabotaged by political dynasty. Miracle will not extirpate traditional politics. Only patriotic exercise of right of suffrage guided by Divine Providence and not blood Money will see the ascendancy of a progressive, dedicated and honest public governance guided by strong political will.
Towards this end, the Pampanga Chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines is doing its share by: conducting lectures on Anti-Bullying, powers of Barangay officials on dispute resolution; extending legal aid service; supporting Brigada Escuela; and rehabilitation of inmates, among others.
The IBP Pampanga Chapter is especially thankful to Angeles City Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin, Jr. for his continuing support hereof.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!