For four years now, the senior citizen-residents of Valenzuela City are enjoying the perks of their twilight age during Christmas season as they are chosen by the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) to be the beneficiaries of Pamaskong Handog project, which will run this year from December 19 to 22.
A total of 25,234 senior citizens citywide will benefit from the Pamaskong Handog, which is a yearly gift-giving activity of the Office of the City Mayor, CSWDO, and other elected officials exclusively for the elderly.
Mayor REX often emphasizes in his speeches that the food packs they distribute only provide momentary gratification. More than distributing goods that Valenzuelano households could consume for the Noche Buena, the officials also consider this four-day activity as an opportunity to pay respect to the elders at least once a year. This gesture signifies the closely-knit family culture that remains popularly observed in the city.
The chief executive took the opportunity to share the news to Valenzuelano seniors that the better Christmas gift that the local government has prepared for them is the assurance that their grandchildren can go to college worry-free, since tuition fees at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela (PLV) and Valenzuela Polytechnic College (Valpoly) are already waived.
City Ordinance No, 2016-011, otherwise known as the “Free Higher Education Ordinance,” was recently legislated to allocate full scholarship to all PLV and Valpoly enrollees this year, amounting to Php 20,000 fund for each student per semester. They will enjoy this privilege until they graduate since this is already institutionalized.
Every year since 2012, senior citizens receive gift stubs from the local government to invite them for the gift giving activity. This is also one way for the CSWDO to update their database of the city’s senior residents. If recipients are unable to receive their claim stubs or are unable to attend the activity of the roving distribution team, they may claim their gift items at the office of CSWDO.