By Chito Chavez
A relative of the country’s national hero was among the centenarians feted by the Quezon City government recently with P100,000 cash reward in recognition for reaching 100 years old.
Centenarians will also be provided by the city government a P1,000 monthly allowance and birthday and Christmas gifts.
Jose L. Arguelles, grandson of Dr. Jose Rizal’s youngest sibling Soledad Mercado-Quintero, is the one of the city’s latest batch of 100-year-old residents.
Affectionately called Lolo Pempot by his grandchildren, Arguelles had been a resident of Barangay Immaculate Conception since 1945.
Arguelles said he witnessed the changes and improvements of the city in the past six decades.
“Nakita naming tumubo lahat ng bahay. Dito noong araw, ‘yang kalyeng España, bato-bato pa, hindi aspalto.Bihira pa ang auto noon, puro kalesa.Maayos naman ‘yung naging pagbabago,” (We have seen the increased number of houses. During those days,Espana street was rough and not paved with asphalt. Automobiles plying the streets were rare and mostly kalesa.The development was good), Lolo Pempot said.
Lolo Pempot’s grandson, Carlos Ignacio Arguelles, expressed gratitude for the recognition given to his grandfather.
“As a resident since 1945, he has contributed to Quezon City in terms of taxes, especially real property taxes he regularly pays. I think that by being a centenarian, he deserves a little recognition,” the younger Arguelles said.
Esterlina Pausanos, niece of the 101-year-old Rosa Pausanos, also expressed her appreciation to the city government for recognizing her aunt.
“We thank the Quezon City government, especially Mayor Herbert Bautista and Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte for the award given to our aunt, who has been living in QC for over 30 years,” Pausanos said.
The other centenarians present at the ceremony were Asuncion N. Aguda Sr., Amelia V. Borromeo, Benjamin O. Cucio, Juanita C. Garcia, and Marina C. Molato.
There are more than 90 centenarians living in the city.
The recognition and financial grant to centenarians are in line with city’s implementation of Republic Act 1086, also known as the Centenarian’s Act of 2016.
Prior to the Centenarian’s Act of 2016, the city has been recognizing its centenarian residents through cash incentives since 2009 through City Ordinance 1986-2009 as amended by City Ordinance 2542-2016.
The city government also awarded the centenarians plaques of recognition.