(File photo)

MANILA – The Office of the Press Secretary on Sunday joined the world in celebrating Grandparents’ Day, urging all Filipinos to pay tribute to their family elders who play a critical role in taking care of families and society.

On her official Facebook page, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles shared how grandparents practically act as second parents or guardians when their grandchildren’s parents are away.

“Sa kultura nating nga Pinoy, mahalaga ang papel ng ating mga lolo at lola maging sa ating paglaki. Para na rin silang ating mga magulang dahil sa kanilang walang mintis na pag-aalaga (In our Filipino culture, the role of our grandparents is important as we grow up. They are also like our parents because they are always there to take care of us),” she said.

On their special day, Cruz-Angeles called on Filipinos to give back to their lolos (grandfathers) and lolas (grandmothers) by making them feel especially loved.

“Kaya ngayong Grandparents’ Day, ating bigyang pugay at alaga ang ating mga lolo’t lola dahil ngayong araw, sila naman ang bida (So this Grandparents' Day, let's give tribute and care to our grandparents because today, they are to be treated as stars),” she added.

Grandparents' Day is celebrated every second Sunday of September in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly is celebrated by the Catholic Church every fourth Sunday of July, close to the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, Jesus’ ‘grandparents’”.

The latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that there were 12,336,355 Filipinos aged 60 years old and above or senior citizens as of May 2020.

The total number of senior citizens represents 11.31 percent of the country’s population of about 109 million.

The Philippine Constitution states that "it is the duty of the family to take care of its elderly members..."

In July, Republic Act 11916, a bill seeking to increase the social pension of indigent senior citizens, lapsed into law.

Under the measure, the monthly pension of indigent senior citizens will increase to PHP1,000 from PHP500. (PNA)