MANILA - The Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines is asking the government to ensure the welfare and wellbeing of senior citizens as the country fights the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Jorge Banal, president of the federation, said they have been constantly reminding senior citizens to stay at home and maintain their health.
"We need to maintain our health. We have to follow government protocols. We have to stay at home and stay safe," he told ANC.
"We continue communicating with each other. We are updating our members on this pandemic crisis and we advise them to stay at home and stay safe," Banal added.
According to Banal, there are around 8 million senior citizens in the country.
While they are satisfied with how the national and local government are responding to the crisis, Banal admits food distribution is difficult.
"So far I think both governments are doing well. But you know, food distribution, it's not an easy thing to do. There is this social distancing and you have many areas to cover, and we have limited manpower also," he said.
"But it will be a continuing effort from both the local and national governments to see to it that our senior citizens, more so during this pandemic crisis, that they are well protected and that their welfare and well-being are taken cared of," Banal added.
He also said that the elderly are also doing their best to stay healthy during the lockdown.
"The local government and our respective barangays are constantly in contact with us. And the advice is, our best contribution is that we do not get sick and we do not contaminate others," Banal said.
The elderly and those with preexisting health conditions are at higher risk of severe illness due to the new coronavirus.
As of Thursday, the Philippines has a total of 707 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of this number, 45 have died and 28 have recovered.
Of the 45 who died, 29 are between the ages of 60 to 89. Ten others from the same age range have recovered.