It takes a senior citizen to understand another, a strong dedication to serve others, and empathy without contempt or bias to his colleagues and to the people he is task to serve – for almost four decades of serving the elderly as a public servant Alfonso C. Goking was elected as the first kagay-anon President of the National Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines (NFSCAP).
Alfonso Goking, a former Cagayan de Oro city Councilor served as this city’s Federation of Senior Citizens’ Associations’ (Cafesca) president and this region’s Regional president, and was also a National Board member with a combine service of 39-years. He was elected as NFSCAP’s president on June 20.
Being in charge of the 17 region in the Philippines Goking is optimistic of what lies before him under his three-year term as the national president including pushing for the federation to become a commission; he shared that it’s not easy to be a president of a group especially when they don’t have a solid budget to provide sustainable programs nationally, and locally; what more to the senior citizens of Cagayan de Oro – That is why he is banking on turning the federation into a commission before he relieves his position.
“Wala kaayo ko mabuhat because wala lagi tay budget busa gusto nako mahimo ta ug commission para dili nata mag salig sa unsay ihatag sa ubang ahensiya. Naa na ni nga request sa kongreso ug 2nd reading na hopefully pag ma-approve siya, dili nami mag salig sa laing ahensiya, nga kada meeting namo mag hulat pami ug kwarta if naa,” Goking said.
He was joyous when he received a text message telling him he was elected as the national president; he was honored and at the same time burden because he knew it wasn’t going to be an easy term especially faced with the reality of budget constraints hindering him to effectively address issues amongst senior citizens.
“Gusto gyud nako makuha ni nga position kay silbi mas makatabang ko ug ayo sa mga pangay-langan sa ato mga ka-igsuonan dari sa Cagayan kay daghan pa akong gusto para ani nga area, ug sa uban sad nga kailangan ug tabang,” he said.
“Walay pag-bago, kay ga salig lagi ta ug dili saimong kaugalingon, atoang ga saligan kay kaning gobyerno mao lagi nang kong ma commission nani amoa lugar – kami na lugar mag buot kay naa-naman dayun mi pundo sa-amoang kaugalingon. Sapakaron wala gyud me control, bisan ako pa ang presidenti sa federation busa importante gyud ma-aprobahan ang amoang request na mahimog commission para mas effective atoang pag tabang sa mga senior citizen,” Goking added.
His plans for the federation as a whole is to fix the problem that is
long overdue, and that is the Social Pension, as he has been fighting for
change in that program for many year. According to him it has too many
provisions, among others that leave other people who are qualified not receiving
“Mao ni ang akoang mission sakong termino, na ayuhon kanang social pension sa mga senior citizen, ug kong mahimo i-enhance pa nato,” he said.
He envisions creating a system that removes the red tape that is keeping them from doing their jobs effectively, and he could not stress enough of how important it is for the NFSCAP to become a commission for that very reason.
“Ako hangyo sa katawhan, kani inyong igsuon diman-nig salig sa sweldo, kundi serbisyo lang gyud.
Gusto nako ayohon ang social pension ako gyud na paning-kamotan ug tul-id. Ihatag nato na sa mga 77-years old nga wala nay question, wala nay condition. Kay nay uban mo ingon lang sakoa na; ako sir 80 nako wala paman ko nahatagan,” He said.
“Ang haom lugar na tao dili gyapon ma hatagan kay diman suod sailahang dughan?” he asked rhetorically.
“Tinuoray mani nga serbisyo atoa diri, dili na pwede sakoa ang favoritism,” he said.
When pressed if he has any plans after his term to run for a government position he said “No, ug wala nasad koy pangandoy mo enter pa anang politika, ang ako lang maka tabang lang sa akong mga ka-igsuonan nga senior citizen labi na katong mga kailangan gyud ug tabang,” he said.
He has a small program that also brings a little happiness to senior citizens every Friday; the cost of the program is shouldered by him. This is the type of projects that he wishes to develop and have the government’s support so it can grow bigger and can be conducted not only at CAFESCA, but as well as other parts of the country.
Goking then said “Daghan tag
ideas ug programa nga tsada nga maka
tabang, pero wala lagi budget. Pareha
dire karon sa CAFESCA, anaa kuy
programa akong kaugalingon kada biyernes. Guihatagan nato sila (seniors) gamay
na pahalipay pareho sa paniudto, unya dire sila mag lingaw-lingaw, sayaw-sayaw ug
“Ang funding ana akoa nang kaugalingon gikan. Mao na akong pasabot na kong kana ma pundohan atoa nang dako-dakoon para daghan ta ma accommodate. Hopefully matabangan ta sa atoang mayor na atoang pabibuhon ni – Dili mansad para sa ako ni,” Goking said.
Alfonso Goking did not make any promises as he acknowledges the reality that his plans for the entire NFSCAP won’t be an easy fight. However he is committed and optimistic that the people tasked to approve their request for their group to become a commission would see the value and worth that would greatly benefit not only the group – but the people they serve.