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Honoring the Invaluable Legacy of Filipino Senior Citizens

The joys expressed by a Filipino elder is captured by this photo courtesy of NCSC Facebook page.

As the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) takes the lead in organizing the 2023 Elderly Filipino Week (EFW) from October 1 to 7, it's essential to delve into the profound values that underpin the celebration. 

This year's theme, "Honoring the Invaluable Legacy of Filipino Senior Citizens," beautifully encapsulates the significance of the event and the enduring values it represents.

Elderly Filipino Week is celebrated yearly during the first week of October, as mandated by Proclamation No. 470 issued by then President Fidel V. Ramos on September 26, 1994, to emphasize the contributions of the elderly to national development.

As of the latest census of 2020, the total number of senior citizens in the Philippines is 9.22 million, based on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Recognizing their significance, Malacañang has issued Memorandum Circular (MC) 34, a directive that underscores the importance of celebrating the Linggo ng Katandaang Filipino, or Elderly Filipino Week. 

This annual celebration, set for the first week of October each year, aims to honor and support the country's senior citizens, echoing the principles enshrined in Republic Act (RA) 11350 and Proclamation 470.

Under the guidance of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., MC 34 designates the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) as the torchbearer for the week-long festivities. The NCSC, empowered by RA 11350, shoulders the crucial responsibility of ensuring the full implementation of laws, policies, and programs dedicated to the welfare of senior citizens.

The essence of MC 34 lies in its call for unity. It beckons all national government agencies (NGAs), government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs), government financial institutions (GFIs), state universities and colleges (SUCs), and local government units (LGUs) to actively engage in and support the celebrations. This collaborative effort is deemed essential to the success of Elderly Filipino Week.

Respect and Reverence

One of the core values of EFW is respect for our senior citizens. Through their life experiences and wisdom, they have contributed significantly to the fabric of our society. By honoring them, we express our gratitude for their enduring commitment to our nation.

Preservation of Heritage

Our elderly citizens are living treasures, embodying the history and traditions of our country. Celebrating EFW allows us to recognize and preserve this cultural heritage for future generations.

Familial Bonds

The values of love and family are deeply ingrained in Filipino culture. EFW serves as a reminder of the importance of cherishing and supporting our elders, who have played pivotal roles in shaping our families.

Empathy and Compassion

Elderly citizens often face unique challenges, and EFW encourages us to empathize with their needs and challenges. By doing so, we foster a culture of compassion and inclusivity in our society.

Inspiration and Learning

Our senior citizens have lived through decades of history, offering us a wealth of knowledge and experiences. EFW is an opportunity for intergenerational learning, where we can draw inspiration from their life stories and insights.

Community Unity

The celebration of EFW brings communities together, emphasizing the value of unity. It showcases the power of collective action in recognizing and addressing the needs of senior citizens.

Legacy of Service

Many senior citizens continue to be actively involved in various community and volunteer activities. EFW highlights their continued service, setting an example for younger generations.

Empowering Seniors through Registration

The NCSC's online registration system has already garnered over 2.8 million senior citizens. Aiming to further enhance this initiative, the NCSC sets an ambitious goal of registering approximately 9 million senior citizens by December this year. To be counted, please visit the NCSC website:

Age-Friendly Approach

To foster a "homegrown, age-friendly approach," the NCSC plans to launch the Philippine Plan of Action for the Senior Citizens and guidelines for Philippine Age-Friendly Local Governments, Age-Friendly Cities, Municipalities, and Communities. These initiatives aim to make life more enjoyable and accessible for senior citizens across the nation.

Inclusion in DRR

Senator Loren Legarda earlier called for the inclusion of older persons in the country's disaster risk reduction and management programs.

Speaking at the Symposium for the International Day for Disaster Reduction and ASEAN Day for Disaster Management, which was organized by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Legarda said that "building resilience should be everybody's attitude." Hence, even the elderly should be involved in disaster resilience efforts as their special needs are being addressed as well.

"We have the laws in place and the mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into our development processes is now a national policy. Yet much remains to be done to realize the benefits these laws ought to bring, especially to the poor and the vulnerable who are most in need of help and protection against disasters and most deserving of participation in resilience building," Senator Legarda said.

Advocacy for Senior Rights

EFW provides a platform for advocating the rights and well-being of senior citizens. It reinforces our commitment to ensuring that they enjoy a dignified and fulfilling life.

As we embark on this week-long celebration, let us embrace these values and reflect on the importance of "Honoring the Invaluable Legacy of Filipino Senior Citizens." By doing so, we not only pay tribute to their contributions but also strengthen the bonds that hold our society together. 

For more information and updates on EFW, please visit the official NCSC Facebook page at

Happy Elderly Week to all senior citizens! (PIA-NCR)

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Jerome Carlo Paunan



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