City of San Fernando Pampanga


October 23,2023 City of San Fernando Pampanga – With a staggering 45% rise in influenza-like illness reported by the Department of Health from the previous year,1 The Raising Awareness on Influenza to Support Elderlies (RAISE) Coalition has brought its health advocacy to one of the biggest cities in Pampanga, San Fernando. The coalition is composed of various government agencies, medical groups, and civil society organizations who all understand the importance of preventing influenza as it is one of the top causes of mortality among senior citizens. They proudly join the RAISE Coalition in calling for the revision of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act to provide more free flu vaccinations for all senior citizens in the country.

The event kicked off by providing free flu vaccines, health check-ups and capillary blood glucose screening to 202 senior citizens. Mayor Vilma Culag emphasized the city’s support towards the community outreach, “Nasa 60,000 ang senior sa San Fernando. Rest assured na ginagawa namin ang lahat upang maibigay ang nararapat sa ating mga Fernandino’s.”

Dr. Lulu Bravo, RAISE co-convenor and PFV Executive Director also noted the need to provide these free vaccinations for all seniors, “Ang mga seniors madami pa ma contribute sa ating komunidad. Through the years mas dumami ang bilang ng ating elderly population. Ayaw po nating magkasakit sila. Sana lahat ng ating mga seniors miski hindi indigent ay mabigyan ng libreng bakuna.”

Dir. Corazon Flores, Regional Director of the Department of Health (DOH)- Region III Center for Health Development (CHD) added, “To ensure that our seniors will have access to health services, nagbibigay tayo ng flu vaccines sa buong Central Luzon. Number one priority natin ay ang mga seniors kasunod ang mga may comorbidities.”

Hon. Ayzel Macalino, City Councilor of San Fernando Pampanga echoed the city’s commitment on the health of Fernandinos, “Maraming natatakot sa bakuna noon, but this is the proper timing lalo na may katuwang tayong NGO in San Fernando which is health is our top priority. We are one with the mayor and with the RAISE Coalition in advocating vaccination especially on extreme ages katulad ng bata at matatanda.”

Dr. Rowena Llenarez Salas, City Health Officer of San Fernando Pampanga emphasized, “Dito po sa Syudad ng San Fernando, lahat po ng mga programa – from womb to tomb, kumpleto. Gusto ko din pong ipagmalaki ang holistic approach ng City of San Fernando sa pagbibigay serbisyo especially sa mga senior citizens.”

The RAISE coalition has garnered support from the Department of Interior and Local Government - Region III. Ms. Lerrie Hernandez, Local Government Monitoring and Evaluation Division Chief added, “Maibabalita ko po na dito sa Gitnang Luzon na this year we have more than 50 % of LGU that passed the seal of good governance. Sinisugarado po ng DILG na may nakalaan na pondo para sa ating mga senior citizens. Tuloy tuloy po naming itong tinitingnan.”

With the successful community outreach of the RAISE Coalition, its vision extends even further. The coalition will be working with more LGUs and legislative champions this year in pushing for the revision of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act to provide free flu vaccinations for all senior citizens in the country. This collaborative movement underscores the unwavering commitment to ensure a safer and healthier future for all senior citizens.

1 Manila Bulletin. DOH reports 45% increase in flu-like illness cases in PH. Available at Accessed on October 20, 2023.