A 76-year old man shares joy in volunteerism

Published by Ranelle Anne Sertan on

Helping the community does not stop when a person turns 60. As some would say, age is merely a number that should not stop you from pursuing and realizing new dreams.

Cesar Rasco, 76, a community volunteer of Barangay Matango in Vinzons, Camarines Norte demonstrated that there are still many things, a senior citizen can offer either knowledge or skills.

As a senior citizen, there are also limitations because of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Since senior citizens are susceptible to contracting the virus, they are not allowed to go outside of their homes.

According to Cesar, aside from facing strong typhoons, the pandemic has been the most challenging.

Pinadilim ng pandemyang ito ang aming komunidad na dati’y masigla,” he described.

(This pandemic eliminated the vitality of our community.)


Based on the Rapid Disaster Assessment and Needs Analysis (RDANA) conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit Bisig- Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD KALAHI-CIDSS) staff, 408 households or 100% of the total number of households were affected by the lack of quarantine facility in the community.

This problem has raised many concerns among community members considering individuals from other regions with high number of positive cases are returning to their community.

The barangay also cited the insufficient supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and sanitizers that could have been used for the protection of their front liners.

Seeing these issues as main concerns of the community, they proposed the retrofitting and refurbishment of their existing multi-purpose building as a temporary quarantine facility and the provision of amenities and PPEs through DSWD KALAHI-CIDSS.

The department funded the community’s proposed project amounting to Php574,899.33.


Having the chance to voice out your concerns is the most essential part of being a citizen. Since the program follows the principle of empowerment, the community members have learned how to decide for their priority needs.

Kami ay nagkaroon ng boses at naramdaman namin na may malaki kaming parte sa pagpapaunlad ng aming komunidad,”

(We were given the voice and we felt that we have a big part in the development of our community.)

Seeing their voice being heard, Cesar saw the active participation of his fellow community members as a big difference.

Mas pinaghigpit ang pagkakapit-bisig ng aking mga kasamahan,” the volunteer said.

(It strengthened the camaraderie of my fellow community volunteers.)

He and fellow community members used their intense determination to ameliorate their community’s health care facilities,

The volunteer shared that being part of the project is not limited to age and gender.

Buo ang aming loob at may tiwala sa sariling kakayahan na walang imposible sa lahat, the volunteer explained.

(Our resolve is clear and we have trust in our abilities that there are no impossibilities.)

The community volunteer added that as long as they [community volunteers] have the strength, they will serve as an instrument in providing comfort for the community.

Ako bilang senior citizen ay hindi makakalimot sa pagkakataong ipinaranas sa akin ng DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS,” Cesar professed.

(I, a senior citizen, cannot forget the chance granted by the program.)

Though Cesar cannot restore his youth, he shared his skills and talents that he acquired through time for the benefit of the community. /ramsertan

With report from Luvy Pababero


DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS is a poverty alleviation program that helps communities in poor municipalities to identify challenges on poverty and implement developmental projects using the CDD approach.

To hasten approval of community projects and implementation during the pandemic, the program used DROP, a simplified Community Empowerment Activity Cycle (CEAC) that still follows the principles of CDD.

In Camarines Norte, DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS implemented DROP in two (2) municipalities with a grant amounting to Php20,336,650.00.

For more details about DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS, follow this link:


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