BACOLOD CITY – The City of Kabankalan in Negros Occidental, which currently has 11 validated living centenarians, takes pride in being home to the oldest living Filipino — 124-year-old Francisca Montes Susano.
On Sept. 11, Susano, who was born in 1897, turned a year older and this time, her well-wishers included Chief Executive Officer Franklin Quijano of the National Commission on Senior Citizens (NCSC).
Photos posted by the city government on Facebook on Sunday showed Quijano, with Mayor Pedro Zayco and Vice Mayor Raul Rivera, visiting the supercentenarian at home in Barangay Oringao.
“It’s an honor for us to have the oldest living Filipino in our place,” city tourism and information officer Jake Carlyne Gonzales told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Monday.
She said the NCSC reached out to the city government to make arrangements for Quijano to visit Susano in the southern Negros city.
Quijano gave the supercentenarian a bouquet, a plaque recognition, PHP10,000 cash and a manager’s check amounting to PHP24,000.
Commissioner Jorge Largado of the Commission on Indigenous Peoples also came to visit to acknowledge Susano as a member of the IP community in her village.
Also, Susano received two wheelchairs — one each from the Provincial Health Office and Department of Health — as well as essential items such as vitamin supplements, face shields and blankets.
With the bid to have Susano declared as the oldest living person in the world, Gonzales said the city government and the Susano family are willing to assist and provide documents to the Guinness World Records that will verify her birth records.
She bore 14 children, including her now 101-year-old eldest daughter.
Meanwhile, among the living centenarians in Kabankalan, two are 104 years old.
Esperanza Gargantiel and Argentina Azcona are considered among the oldest vaccinees in the country.
Quijano also visited Gargantiel at her residence in Barangay 3 on Saturday.
Gonzales said that aside from the 11 living centenarians, the City Social Services and Development Office is also validating the birth records of 20 more elderly aged 100 and above.
The city government will distribute PHP50,000 cash gifts to each of the centenarians later this year, she added. (PNA)