The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) has recently given birthday gifts to two centenarians in Bataraza.

Darus S. Ibrahim, who is 115 years old and a resident of Barangay Rio Tuba, received P2,000 worth of birthday gift on May 3, while Amerol M. Abda, who is 102 years old and resides in Brgy. Marangas, received P10,000 as a birthday gift on May 4, 2023.

The birthday gifts were given under the Aid to Senior Citizens Program of PSWDO and in compliance with the directive of Palawan Governor Victorino Dennis M. Socrates to continue showing care and concern for the elderly in the province.

The gifts are also part of the government’s commitment to provide additional assistance to centenarians in Palawan.

Lolo Darus is currently the oldest centenarian in Palawan, having been born on January 8, 1908.

Centenarians receive gifts though Republic Act No. 10868, which recognizes and honors Filipino citizens who have reached the age of 100 or more. The law was signed by former President Benigno Aquino III on June 23, 2016, and became effective on July 7, 2016.

Under this law, all centenarians in the Philippines are entitled to receive a cash gift of P100,000 from the government. They are also given a letter of felicitation and a plaque of recognition to acknowledge their longevity and contribution to the country.

The law is intended to promote respect and appreciation for the elderly, particularly those who have reached the rare milestone of living for a century or more. It also aims to encourage younger generations to take care of their elderly loved ones and to value their wisdom and experiences.

To qualify for the benefits of the Centenarian Act, the individual must be a Filipino citizen who has reached the age of 100 or more, and who is still alive at the time of the application. The application must be made by the centenarian or his/her authorized representative, and must be submitted to the local social welfare and development office.

Overall, the Centenarian Act of 2016 is a significant step in recognizing and honoring the elderly in the Philippines, and provides much-needed support and recognition to those who have reached this remarkable milestone.