Christmas reunion: Old man reunites with family via Facebook
MANILA, Philippines – An old man wandering around the streets of Manila was reunited with his family – and just in time for Christmas, too.
Aturo “Turo” Javier was found wandering along Jose Abad Santos Avenue in Manila, a long way from his home in Biñan, Laguna. Facebook user Ferdie Beltran posted a picture on his page on December 15, saying he saw Javier at the Philippine Cultural College in Tondo, Manila. He wrote others had seen Javier in Recto, Jose Abad Santos, Sta. Cruz, and Divisoria.
Beltran asked for help for Javier, and on December 17, he was able to get in touch with Javier’s family.
Beltran said Javier’s children called him and told him they would be going to Manila to pick up their father. Before they could do so, however, Beltran received a call from a relative living in Sta. Mesa.
The relative turned out to be an aunt of Javier’s children. An hour later, Beltran said he received a call from Javier’s daughter confirming the relative had already picked up Javier and would take him home to Biñan.
What to do
If you encounter similar cases, here are the appropriate steps to take, according to Department of Social Welfare and Development-National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) Director Alice Bonoan:
- Immediately refer the elderly person to the barangay.
- If the barangay does not have a facility, the elderly person will be accommodated in other care centers like the Golden Acres.
- Once the address of the elderly person is located, the city social welfare officer will hold a case conference.
- If the elderly person is not from Metro Manila, DSWD will coordinate with the receiving local government unit (LGU).
- The receiving LGU will turn over the elderly person to the care of his or her family.
The DSWD also has “Haven for the Elderly” in Rizal that takes in abandoned elderly. The center provides care for the elderly they find, and interview the family if they are located nearby or coordinate with the Local Social Welfare Development Office (LSWDO) or DSWD Regional Office.
"Value the elderly persons in our family," Bonoan earlier reminded the public, stressing that family members "should care for and look after each other.” – Rappler.com