Jollibee Foods Corporation signed a memorandum of agreement with Antipolo City and the Department of Labor and Employment committing to hire the city’s senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs).

Antipolo Mayor Jun Ynares and Public Employment Services Office Head Marie Fe Iquin signed in behalf of the city. Atty. Marion Sevilla, Assistant Regional Director, Department of Labor and Employment represented DOLE.

Mary Anne Lim, AVP/HR Head, Greenwich; Rizza Masupil, Operations Director, Greenwich; Felmarie Jolo, Operations Director, Chowking; Lorlyn Cordero, Area Manager, Burger King; and Shelwin Hizon signed in behalf of Jollibee Foods Corporation.

Antipolo City and JFC already had a partnership program in place but it was temporarily stopped with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Pansamantala itong natigil dahil sa pandemic. Pero ngayong nagbalik na ang sigla ng ating ekonomiya at natutunan na nating mamuhay sa new normal, ready na po ulit ang mga fast food companies na mag-employ ng ating mga kababayan mula sa PWD at senior citizen sectors dito sa Antipolo,” said Mayor Ynares.

“Nauna na po ang Manila at pangalawa ang Antipolo na nagkaroon ng ganitong programa. Sana hindi magtagal ay sa ibang mga bayan din para mas madaming lolo, lola, at mga kapatid nating may kapansanan ang matulungan.”

Mayor Ynares said the city government will partner with other quick service restaurants (QSRs) and food establishments to adopt the program.

Citizens who are 60 years old and above make up 8.5 percent of the population (9.22 million individuals) as of 2020 according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority. This marks a growth from the 7.5 percent (7.53 million senior citizens) recorded in 2015.

The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) estimates that 14 percent of the total population of the Philippines will be 60 and older by 2035. It is therefore urgent for the government to initiate programs to protect and preserve the well-being of elderly Filipinos.

These measures must include instituting geriatric care programs and opening more employment opportunities for seniors.