SM Olongapo’s “Senior Greeters”

The Senior Greeters of SM Olongapo stand at the entrance of the mall where they welcome shoppers as they enter, manifesting that SM takes a personal interest in them. (PR-SMOL)


SM Olongapo’s Senior Greeters. They work part-time anytime from 10:00 am to 6:00pm as ushers or greeters with 4-hour working days, twice a week, specially on Saturdays, Sundays or Holidays or when there is an expected influx of customers. (PR-SMOL)

Who says seniors can’t work after retirement age? They still can and do.

SM Supermalls has launched a program called Senior Citizen Community Service under SM Cares that hires documented senior citizens, 60-70 years old, medically fit and residents of the community.

It aims to commission and grant sustainable assistance to the senior citizens and nurture their skills and abilities.

“Masayang-masaya po kaming mga seniors na nakapagtrabaho dito sa SM, kung pwede nga lang araw-araw kami mag duty,” said Erlinda Generao, 65 of Brgy. Gordon Heights.

Leila Lorenzo, 63 of West Tapinac remarked, “Hindi po namin alintana ang pagod sa pagiging greeter sa mall entrance, sulit naman kasi ang daming tao ang pumupunta sa mall.”

SM Olongapo’s second batch of seniors since last April were recruited through the help of the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA). Among them are Arestides Alaan , Rosalia Austria, Rebecca Esma, Thomas Exciminiano, Erlinda Generao, Juvita Laborete, Roberto Lemque, Leila Lorenzo, Fe Melo and Matutum Quinoveba

The Department of Health (DOH) believes that senior citizens can still be economically productive, hence, this program was launched and lauded those establishment who hires senior citizens as part of their seasonal workforce.

“I enjoyed being a retiree, but after a while, I began to miss the work environment coz’ I used to work at the Subic Naval Base,” said Thomas Exciminiano,66 of Brgy New Banicain. “Malaking bagay ito sa amin, dahil dito nararamdaman namin ang pagbibigay importansya sa mga seniors.”

This program offers casual and part-time work assignments to deserving senior citizens. The seniors are given part time jobs as usher or greeter in the mall with 4-hour working days, twice a week , preferably on Saturdays, Sundays or Holidays when there is an influx of customers. They work anytime from 10:00 am to 6:00pm.

In the Philippines, the population of 60 years and older was 3.7million in 1995 or 5.4% of total population. In the 2000 census, this increased to about 4.8 million or almost 6% (National Statistical Coordination Board). At present, there are 7 million senior citizens (6.9% of the total population) 1.3M of whom are indigent.

“It is noteworthy that SM Supermalls is hiring documented senior citizens whose duty is to welcome customers as they enter the mall, their appreciation for our elderly is well acknowledged,” expressed OSCA head Beth Diaz. (PR-SMOL)


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