ABRA PROVINCE- Lola Leonor and Lolo Guillermo Portela have been married for fifty (50) years. In their years of marriage, they were blessed with four children, two are deceased and the other two now live with their own family.

Lola Leonor and Lolo Guillermo have been residing in Lacub, Abra since 2008. They used to live in Laguna with their children but when Lola Leonor’s father died, she decided to stay in Lacub with Lolo Guillermo to take care of her mother who was then old and sickly.  After her mother died in 2010, they continued to reside in Lacub in gratification of her mother’s wish that they keep the house in order while her other brothers and sisters live in their own dwelling.  While they reside in Lacub, their eldest reside in Isabela with his wife while their only daughter resides in Laguna with her family.

All is well as the couple receives support from their children on top of the monthly pension that Lolo Guillermo receives.

However, on April 2021, Lola Leonor started to get sick and she was rushed to the hospital several times but was put under Out-of-Patient attention due to hospitals’ capacity.  She was attended to by relatives at home bringing her regularly for medical check-up because their children were put under quarantine due to COVID-19 infection.  On august 13, 2021 she was rushed to the hospital again due to severe abdominal pains with hypertension.  Because of mobility restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, their children could not travel to Abra to assist Lola Leonor.  So, despite his old age, Lolo Guillermo was left on her assistance and he never left his wife. For six days, he watched over Lola Leonor who was confined due to acute gastritis.

Her hospitalization incurred the senior couple a bill amounting to PhP 34,000.00.  This covered the confinement, laboratory tests, and medicines for the recovery of Lola Leonor not to mention other expenses incurred since her first medical procedure in April 2021.

Due to old age and limited income, the couple was referred to avail the medical assistance under the Expanded Assistance to Individuals in Crises Situation (E-AICS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

E-AICS provides medical, financial, burial, education, food, and transportation assistance to individuals or families who are in difficult circumstances such as sudden loss of income, accident, natural disasters, among others.

After undergoing assessment and providing the necessary documents, Lola Leonor and Lolo Guillermo were able to receive an assistance amounting to PhP 10,000.00.

Currently, the couple is staying with their daughter who is based in Laguna.

Masaya ang buong pamilya namin hindi lang dahil sa financial assistance kundi dahil sa maayos na pag-attend ng staff [ng DSWD] sa aming mga magulang. Malaking bagay talaga na maayos ang pakikitungo nila. Napakalaking bagay ng tulong na ito lalo na’t buong pamilya namin ay dinapuan din ng COVID bago nahospital ang aming Nanay Leonor”, the couple’s daughter Lyn Tamayo said.

Families or individuals in need of same assistance may visit the nearest Local Social Welfare and Development Office or DSWD Office in their area and bring any valid ID of the client, medial certificate, prescription, and or medical bill. Other documents maybe required by the social workers necessary for further assessment.#DSWD FIELD OFFICE CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, NERIZZA FAYE G. VILLANUEVA-TRINIDAD

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