PASIG CITY, October 16, 2019 – Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones received the Special Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua Dangal ng Lahi Award from Business Mirror, United Laboratories, Inc. (Unilab), RiteMed Philippines Inc. (RiteMed), and United Bayanihan Foundation, Inc. (UBF) during the 7th Dangal Awards for Elderly Care at Bayanihan Center, Pasig City on October 9.
The Special Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua Dangal ng Lahi Award is the highest honor in Dangal Awards. It is given to icons and living legends who spearhead works in developing the nation.
The Education chief expressed her gratitude and appreciation for the recognition of senior citizens and their societal contributions.
“I’d like to pay my personal tribute to Business Mirror, [to] Unilab, [to] RiteMed and [to] the United Bayanihan Foundation for emphasizing and bringing to the core, the very special Filipino and at the same time nation’s trait, which is respect for the elders, honoring the elders, taking care of the older generation,” Briones said.
Launched in 2013, the Dangal [Dakilang Adhikain ng Ating Lahi] Awards aims to honor senior citizens for their outstanding role in the community. The event was developed from Unilab’s United Retirement Plan established in 1959.
“Briones epitomizes the perfect role model for senior citizens. The Education secretary continues to share her God-given wisdom and talent in leading national-government programs for the optimal development of Filipino children at the Department of Education,” Unilab External Affairs and Social Partnerships Head Claire Papa said.
Briones congratulated the other awardees and underscored the importance of the senior citizens’ role in shaping the next generation.
“Congratulations sa lahat ng mga awardees. Sino ditong nag-iisip na old? For as long as your brain functions, for as long as you are surrounded by love and security, for as long as there is respect for you, you don’t feel old at all. At this time of our lives, there are still so many new things that one can learn, so many new ways of viewing life. ‘Yung ating henerasyon, ‘yun ang mag-guide ng Generation Z,” the Secretary stated.
The DepEd chief also emphasized that age does not matter when it comes to serving the country: “There is no correlation between the state of my knees and the state of my brain.”
“I look forward to the time na hindi na sasabihin, ‘uy magaling siya dahil senior citizen siya, ‘uy mahusay siya, may nagawa siya dahil senior citizen siya. Kung ikaw ay mahusay, mahusay ka, Kung ikaw ay nagsilbi sa bayan, nagsilbi ka sa bayan. As they say, age doesn’t matter and matter does not age,” the Secretary concluded.
Meanwhile, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, the event’s keynote speaker, commended Briones’ commitment to serving the public and improving the quality of basic education.
“Isa lang ho ang aking masasabi na ang sistema ng edukasyon ho natin ay nasa magandang kamay dahil meron ho tayong isang kalihim na meron pong malasakit sa ating mga kabataan, meron pong puso sa ating mga kabataan. Ako ay naniniwala na ang ating mga anak na nag-aaral po sa ating mga eskwelahan ay makakatanggap ng isang dekalidad na edukasyon at sa susunod, sila din po ang magdadala sa ating bansa patungo sa isang progresibong Pilipinas,” Gatchalian stated.