University of the Philippines Los Baños
Thursday, 23 November 2017 11:25

UPLB Elderly Dev’t Program reaps its first nat’l award

UPLB Elderly Dev’t Program reaps its first nat’l award Photo courtesy of Business Mirror Dakilang Adhikain ng Ating Lahi (Dangal) Awards

A “young” community service program in the University has been recognized for uplifting the welfare of the elderlies for the past six years.

The UPLB Elderly Development Program (EDP), an extension program of the College of Human Ecology (CHE), received the Business Mirror Dakilang Adhikain ng Ating Lahi (Dangal) Awards, joining four other organizations in the group category.

The award, given by the national daily Business Mirror and United Laboratories’ United Bayanihan Foundation, recognizes “exemplary senior citizens and senior citizen organizations that have the best programs for the elderly.” The awarding ceremony took place on Oct. 13 at the Unilab Bayanihan Center, Mandaluyong City.

According to Dr. Renato V. Torres, head of EDP and assistant professor at the Department of Human and Family Development Studies of CHE, the recognition means a lot to him because it is the Program’s first national award. “It recognizes UPLB’s contribution to the social development of our senior citizens, especially the marginalized sector,” he said. He personally received the award on behalf of the program.

Dr. Torres, a medical doctor by profession, is instrumental in creating the EDP. His research in 2011, which revealed that majority of the Filipino elderlies are still functional, but with unmet bio-psychosocial needs, led to the Program’s launch the same year. Since then, EDP has initiated regular activities for the bio-psychosocial welfare of the elderlies of UPLB and nearby communities in Los Baños, Bay, and Calamba City.

EDP’s monthly UPLB Senior Day Care provides various activities to its 50 regular members. These include health and nutrition screening tests, physical fitness activities like aerobics and tai chi, medical and alternative medicine lectures, livelihood seminars, arts & crafts, recreational games, neurobics (memory games), and music and meditation therapy sessions.

It also holds the annual Senior Citizens Summit, where hundreds of members of senior citizens associations participate in free health and wellness services and activities.

According to Dr. Torres, the program aspires to develop in terms of infrastructure and manpower to enable it to reach out to more senior citizens. He also expressed his hopes that the EDP’s senior day care will be duplicated nationwide through the passage of a mandatory Barangay Senior Day Care Center Act. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria, with reports from Daisy V. Pelegrina)