Ilocos Norte Celebrates Xmas with Jobs for Seniors, Gifts for Poor

Christmas is fast approaching, and Ilocos Norte plans to welcome the holiday season with a week-long Christmas caravan to benefit poor families and by hiring senior citizens as tourism ambassadors.

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Holiday Gift-Giving Caravan

From December 15 to 20, Ilocos Norte government officials and employees will go around the province and distribute gifts and food to less fortunate citizens. On top of that, kiddie parties will be held at village halls for the benefit of the children.

The Christmas caravan that covers 21 towns and two cities has become a yearly tradition for capitol employees of Ilocos Norte. Beneficiaries were identified with the help of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office including the so-called Millennium Development Goals (MDG) families. These families come from highly vulnerable areas of the province – areas that were badly hit by typhoons and other natural calamities.

Sustainable Development Center of the Ilocos Norte government Head Edwin Cariño said this year’s gift-giving program is “need-based,” which means that commodity items will be given to these families.

“MDG families will be given medicines and grocery items, while our indigent families will be given food packs. Some Day Care pupils will receive educational toys, and senior citizens who are celebrating their birthdays in December will be treated with birthday cakes, food packs, and the traditional singing of Ilocano birthday songs,” he said.

200 Tourism Ambassadors for Christmas

Ilocos Norte is one of the provinces that get an influx of tourists during the holiday season because of several famous tourist spots such as the Bangui Windmills, Paoay Church, and Pagudpud Beach. Hence, the provincial government decided to hire tourism ambassadors.

All are welcome to apply for the tourism jobs regardless of age or status. In fact, out of the 200 slots, at least 22 are reserved for senior citizens who are interested to apply.

“We are again accepting applicants and the basic qualification is they should be at least 18 years old and show interest in tourism work,” said Ilocos Norte Provincial Tourism Officer Aianree Raquel.

The tourism ambassadors’ main role is to help assist and educate tourists at various museums, churches, and other tourist destinations in the province. The program has been running for six years now and has employed out-of-school youth, students, and senior citizens during long holiday breaks in the past.

Starting December 14, the newly hired tourist ambassadors will be deployed to various tourist destinations in the province.

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