Amparo Llano, a resident of Barangay Conalom in Inopacan town of Leyte province, just lost her husband this year.
She recalled that it was difficult for her to imagine that now in her old age she will be left to attend to her own.
Nang Amparo, as fondly called by her neighbors, had been serving as volunteer Barangay Health Worker (BHW) since 1984.
Her husband was already receiving P500 every month from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as the agency’s Social Pension Program for senior citizens.
When her husband died on March 4, this year, she said that she didn’t know how she will survive knowing that her monthly income is not sufficient to meet her ends. “Tanan nga akong lima ka anak naa nay kaugalingon nga pamilya mao di na pud sila kaatiman nako,” she lamented.
“All my 5 children have families of their own so they can’t attend to me anymore.”
Barely two weeks after her husband was taken away from her and four days after his burial, she received the monthly pension as successor to her husband. The Social Pension Unit of DSWD Regional Office VIII said that spouses automatically serve as replacement to SocPen beneficiaries in case of death of his or her partner.
“Pasalamat gyud ko sa pension para sa akong tambal ug makapalit sab isda kay nag-usaan nalang ko sa balay,” she said. “Bisag gamay kaayo pero dako ni nga bagay isip tabang parehas sa amon nga tiguwang na nga gikan sa atong gobyerno pinaagi sa DSWD,” Nang Amparao continued.
“I am thankful for the pension so I could buy my medicine and I could buy fish too as I am living alone. Even if it’s meager, it’s a big help to us old people from the government through DSWD.”
In order to augment her income for her other needs, Nang Amparo has also start-up business in candle-making. “Nangutang ko ug puhunan para sa akong paghimo kandila,” she said. “Naa man gihapon ko daghan order mao nadugangan akong pangita,” she tells.
“I have loaned money to finance my candle-making. I have many orders so it’s adding to my income.”
According to her, she is no longer worried for her day to day needs even if she is living alone already. (Bryan Azura)