Bontoc – The Provincial Local Government Unit of Mountain Province was able to give due recognition and financial incentives to 39 individuals under its provincial centenarian recognition and awards program since its implementation in 2015.
Records from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) revealed that the municipality of Paracelis has the highest number of centenarians who were recognized with nine and is followed by Sabangan and Tadian with six centenarians each. The towns of Bontoc and Besao has four centenarians each while Natonin has three and Sadanga has two. The towns of Barlig and Sagada have no verified centenarians; however, according to the PSWDO, verification of some candidates in Sagada is on-going. Out of the 39, 24 are females and 15 are males.
The provincial recognition of individuals who reached the age of 100 years or older was enacted in 2015 thru Provincial Ordinance No. 192 authored by then Board Members Florence N. Taguiba and Romeo M. Pagedped. It was duly attested and certified by then Vice-Governor Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. and was approved by then Governor Leonard G. Mayaen.
Under the ordinance, a qualified individual will receive a plaque of recognition, a congratulatory resolution and a one-time amount of P20,000. Other benefits include a regular monthly visit by health personnel for health check-up and monitoring by the PSWDO.
In 2018, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan headed by Vice-Gov. Francis O. Tauli passed Provincial Ordinance No. 315 or an ordinance amending Provincial Ordinance No. 192 raising the cash award from P20,000 to P30,000 to qualified provincial centenarians. Such was consequently approved by Governor Lacwasan.
According to PSWDO – Officer-In-Charge Miguela Angwani, the provincial centenarian award compliments the Centenarian Act of 2016 of the national government which gives an amount of P100,000 cash gift to qualified centenarians; albeit, the provincial centenarian award came first.
Meanwhile, the recent recipients in the list of provincial awardees were recognized on January 21, 2020. In two separate occasions, Governor Lacwasan personally turned over a congratulatory resolution, a plaque of appreciation and a check amounting to P 30,000 to Avelina Placido, 100 and a resident of Gayang, Sabangan and 100-year-old Petra Segat of Lubon, Tadian. Both were the sixth centenarian to receive the award in their respective municipality after being recommended by the Mountain Province Provincial Centenarian Committee to be recognized and honored after passing and fulfilling the requirements of Provincial Ordinance No. 192. The awarding was witnessed by their respective barangay and municipal officials, relatives and senior citizens. Mayor Marcial Lawilao, Jr. was in attendance in Gayang while Board Member and Sangguniang Panlalawigan Chair on Women, Senior Citizens, Differently-abled and Family Relations Salvador K. Dalang attended the Lubon awarding ceremony.