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PIA Press Release

2,000 Ifugao senior citizens benefit from Botika ng Barangay

by Jina Shirley G. Dacmay

ALFONSO LISTA, Ifugao (4 April) -- A total of 2000 Junior and Senior Citizens from the municipalities of Alfonso Lista, Aguinaldo and Mayoyao are enjoying the half priced medicines from their "Botika ng Barangay" here, put up with the purpose of serving the marginalized Ifugaos from the high cost of medicines.

Leoncio Gabayan, Senior Citizen’s Federation Treasurer and Alfonso Lista Chapter Treasurer bared that their Botika ng Barangay was sponsored by Congressman Solomon Chungalao with P2 million start up capital which was given in the form of boxes of medical supplies.

The Botika, during its first year of operation in 2005, sold only medical supplies for ordinary diseases. But with the increasing number of members who patronize the services of their “Botika”, stocks were updated to include list of requested medical needs for hypertension maintenance and others.

The Botika ng Barangay is under the supervision of the Senior Citizens and has become one of their income generating activities.

Gabayan pointed out said that even regular members who come as far as the Aguinaldo and Mayoyao, who used to buy their medical supplies in the adjacent City of Santiago in Isabela province, have patronized the services of the “Botika” since its operation. “This is a big help to us elders who can not afford the excessive prices of medicines from private pharmacies”, he added.

Moreover, families of the members of the Senior Citizen’s Organization have been receiving “death aid benefits” from updated obligations of members depending on what category the members falls under.

For a member falling under the first category and who has paid his obligations for 6 months up to two years, he is entitled to P10,000. P16,000 for members falling under the second category with paid obligations from 2 years to 4 years; P23,000 for the third category for members from 5 to 12 years; P29,000 for the fourth category with membership from 13 years to 19 years; and P40,000 for members from 20 years and above.

Gabayan said the amount is a big help to the family during the death of its member as it is used to defray expenses lessening the financial burden of the family left behind. This comes from contributions of members in the amount of P20.00 for every death.

For new members, the amount of P175.00 and P50.00 are collected as application fee and annual fee respectively.

With its increasing membership, the organization was able to put into savings P1.2 million in the bank, Gabayan said. (PIA) [top]

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