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FINDING RELIEF IN LIFE

Carrying two large bags of grocery items, a few pieces of fruits and some medicine, 58-year-old Anaceta Valeroso is a picture of a relieved daughter.

Upon arriving in their small home in Brgy. Aguado in Trece Martires City, Cavite, she immediately shows her mother, Purificacion Mustacisa, 83, her loot. She then receives a radiant smile from her mother, who immediately felt the same kind of relief Anaceta has been feeling earlier.

Anaceta just came from the town proper to claim Nanay Purificacion’s subsidy under the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) program. She received PhP2,400, which Anaceta immediately used to buy most of Nanay Purificacion’s needs.

From the city hall, the venue of the payout, Anaceta directly went to the grocery store where she bought adult diapers, oatmeal and alcohol. She then moved to a drug store to purchase pain relief medications. And before riding a tricycle home, she dropped by a fruit stand to buy some apples, oranges and grapes.

All of these are what she believes are her mother’s most important needs. For a year now, Nanay Purificacion has been immobile. She slipped on her way to the comfort room, which resulted to fractured bones in the thighs and legs.

“Hindi na ako nagpa-opera dahil saan naman kami kukuha ng napakalaking halaga. Isa pa, matanda na ako at sabi ng mga duktor, baka hindi ko na kayanin,” shared Nanay Purificacion.

Since then, Nanay Purificacion remains in bed most of the time but can still manage to sit by herself. However, she requires help in moving around the house, mainly through transferring her to a plastic chair and then pushing the chair wherever she pleases to go such as the comfort room.

Meeting her daily needs

For several years, Nanay Purificacion has been living in her own house and is accompanied by a relative or two. However, when she started having problems with her mobility because of her arthritis, she needed more care. She needed assistance in simple activities even with walking from one place to another in their house.

“Kinuha ko na si Nanay para mas maalagaan siya,” shared Anaceta despite her own financial concerns for her family.

Anaceta has seven children and is a solo parent. She is also a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program where she is receiving support from the national government for the education and health needs of her children.

“Kahit na mahirap ang buhay, ginagawan namin ng paraan para matustusan ang pangangailangan niya. Kung pagkain lang sa araw-araw, kakayanin namin, pero ngayon, dapat laging may prutas para may vitamins siya, gamot at diaper,” shared Anaceta.

Meanwhile, Nanay Purificacion is very grateful to Anaceta, her only daughter, for keeping her under her wing. Still, she pities her daughter most of the time.

“Alam ko din namang walang pagkukunan. Kapag wala kaming pambili ng diaper, siya ang talagang nag-aasikaso sa akin. Gabi-gabi na lang siyang naglalaba para sa akin,” Nanay Purificacion said.

Nanay Purificacion added that though she is grateful that she does not take maintenance medicines like other senior citizens, she still worries about her pain medications for her leg.

“Minsan, may mga araw na talagang nakakaligtaan ang pag-inom dahil wala nang pambili. Sa mga ganoong pagkakataon ako nakakaramdam ng sobrang sakit,” said Nanay Purificacion.

At times like these, Anaceta would gather her courage to call for help from her four brothers.

“Kapag wala na kaming pambili ng diaper o gamot, tumatawag na ako sa aking mga kapatid. Pero hindi rin naman namin inaasahan nang malaki dahil may kanya-kanya na rin silang pamilyang binubuhay,” said Anaceta.

Finding relief

With their situation, Nanay Purificacion is very grateful for how the government, both local and national, has been helping her through the years.

In 2012, she became a beneficiary of the Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens. This is a program of the national government in accordance with the Expanded Senior Citizens Act providing indigent senior citizens with PhP500 subsidy per month to help with their daily subsistence and medication needs.

Prior to being a beneficiary of the national program, Nanay Purificacion has been a part of a local social pension program in their city.

“Malaking tulong ito dahil kahit papaano, may sarili akong pera para sa mga pangangailangan ko. Hindi na lahat ay inaasa ko,” shared Nanay Purificacion.

Anaceta is also grateful as she is stripped of a huge burden.

“Yung mga natatanggap ni Nanay sa pension, diretso lahat sa pangangailangan niya—sa gamot, prutas at sa diaper. Hindi ko na iisipin at kukunin pa sa budget naming pamilya,” said Anaceta.

Just like what she does every time Nanay Purificacion receives her pension, Anaceta diligently spends it straight to her mother’s needs. Whatever is left, she gives it to her mother so they’ll have something whenever the supplies run out.

Both Nanay Purificacion and Anaceta are grateful to this kind of help in different ways.

For Nanay Purificacion, it is the peace of mind that she is not a total burden to her children, especially to Anaceta, at least not physically. For Anaceta, on the other  hand, it is the relief and joy of seeing that her mother’s needs are taken care of without sacrificing her own family’s needs.

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