Lola (Grandma) Rosita, 76, Malabon City, The Philippines

Nanay Rosita (2nd from the left) together with some OPO members.

Currently, Lola Rosita is living with her husband Emiliano, 81, her daughter and her 7-year-old grandchild.

She is a retired government employee receiving a small pension from the Government Social Insurance System (GSIS). They use the pension to buy their medicines. She is also the President of the older oersons organisation in her community.

“COVID-19 has affected us [senior citizens] so much. We are afraid of going outside as the virus poses more risks to senior citizens, especially as Malabon city has already one confirmed case according to DZBB, a local radio station”.

“I usually listen to reminders on the radio, such as (1) do not go outside the house; (2) don’t touch your nose, eyes, and mouth; (3) always clean the house; (4) always keep yourself updated on the situation. I believe that doing these can help avoid acquiring the virus. We aknowledge the need to make some sacrifcies, for example staying at home because we believe that soon we will overcome the situation”.

“They [the government]provided us with relief goods twice, but it's still not enough. And it seems there will not be additional assistance. We really need medicines to treat our current health conditions, hygiene kits, and face masks but we can’t buy them. Aside from the restrictions due to the enhanced community quarantine, we also don’t have the money, especially now that our children can’t go to work.”

“I’m also worried about our members [of the older persons organisation] because until now they haven’t received the social pension from the government, which would be of help to overcome this crisis”.

“We are thankful to our president but until when will we wait? We need food and medicines now. Until now, the government has been arguing on what kind of assistance they will provide to people. I’m worried that this assistance might reach us when COVID-19 is already resolved”.

Read more COVID-19: stories from older people

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