Ian Ocampo Flora
BACOLOR -- A 99-year-old priest from Barangay San Vicente here received the P100,000 cash incentive awarded to senior citizens in time for the latter's 100th birthday in July.
Governor Lilia Pineda gave the cash incentive to Fr. Odon Santos through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO).
Fr. Santos, will be celebrating his 100th natal day on July 7 this year.
Last year, at least 38 Kapampangan centenarians received P100,000 each from the provincial government as incentives for reaching the age of 100 and above.
The provision of cash incentives was realized by virtue of Ordinance No. 647, which enacted the Senior Citizens Code of the Province of Pampanga, unanimously approved by the Provincial Board headed by Vice-Governor Dennis Pineda in 2014.
Provincial Administrator Andres Pangilinan, Jr. recently disclosed that the said ordinance was amended this year wherein Kapampangan elderlies aged 95 – five years younger than the previous age requirement – or older can now avail of the same benefit.
"The age requirement was adjusted accordingly so the elderlies can have more time to enjoy their benefits and incentives," Governor Pineda explained.
Santos is one the fortunate soon-to-be centenarian kabalens who received the incentive under the amended ordinance.
PSWD Officer Elizabeth Baybayan, who brought the P100,000 check, asked the retired priest about his secret in maintaining a long life.
“I just did my best as a priest and always thanked God," Santos said.
The elderly priest also lauded the lady governor and her projects that reach people throughout the province, especially those who are in need.
"I always pray for her, that would she remain strong, unharmed, and happy so she may continue serving the province," Santos said.
Santos resides with his nephew, who is also his caregiver, and other relatives in their hometown.