Maguindanao’s elderly honored for community-building efforts PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 October 2015 11:00

Pacifico Hortillosa, 83, never thought almost all his life he will be cited for his involvement in activities benefitting Muslim and Christian senior citizens in Maguindanao province.

Hortillosa was just one of more than a thousand officers and members of various organizations of elderly folks in Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu on Tuesday honored with special citations and gifts during a conclave in the provincial capital Buluan town.

The office of Mangudadatu has been providing humanitarian services to thousands of Muslim, Christian and lumad senior citizens in Maguindanao immediately since after his first election to office in 2010.

At least 1,075 senior citizens representing different groups from Maguindanao’s 36 towns converged in Buluan Tuesday for a peace and development congress organized by the provincial government.

The provincial government’s humanitarian projects for senior citizens are being implemented through an emergency and disaster response team led by Lynette Estandarte, who is Maguindanao’s chief budget officer.

“The honor and importance being extended to us is something we haven’t experienced during the time of previous provincial governors,” said Lucia Cueto-Sinsuat.

Sinsuat is provincial president of Maguindanao’s senior citizens’ organization, the umbrella entity for all other sub-groups of elderly people in the province.

Sinsuat, widow of former Mayor Michael Sinsuat of North Upi town in the first district of Maguindanao, said what is fascinating for them is how Mangudadatu consults them on peace and security concerns.

“We build consensus on how to complement Malacañang’s diplomatic efforts to solve the Mindanao Moro issue,” she said, referring to the governor.

“Because we are elders, experienced elders, we give good recommendations on what efforts are needed to keep the cordiality between Muslims and Christians,” Sinsuat added.

Hortillosa had told Mindanao Cross he is grateful to the provincial government for providing elderly people with psycho-social support in a manner never done by past administrations.

“The care being extended to us, as I feel it, is just the same with how our own families care for us,” he said.

Safia Mindos, 79, said there is enough motivation for them to help push forward the peace and development initiatives of the provincial government owing to its continuing grant of incentives in form of medical, relief and rehabilitation services.

“And this is happening all year round, every year, rain or shine” Mindos said.