The Man’Amko Center of the Office of Aging under the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs will continue as is and the only difference is that the center will be closed on Fridays once austerity measures kick in.
According to Walter Manglona, Office on Aging director, the center and its staff have been saving power and being more conservative even before the austerity period. Regardless of austerity, they will continue to practice energy conservation, he added.
The Office on Aging hasn’t cut any of their programs and, in fact, they’re operating normally but more carefully in terms of delivery services. For instance, Manglona and the Office on Aging drivers have come up with a plan on how to turn a back-and-forth trip into a one-way trip that will still be convenient for the man’amko.
“The main goal is to continue to deliver the services we’re doing without being reckless with spending,” said Manglona. He noted that that’s how it has been with him and the Office on Aging staff and it won’t be much of a difference once austerity Fridays hit. Under the government’s austerity plan, all government offices would be closed every Friday.
One of their upcoming events that they are looking forward to is the Mes Man’amku in May, which is a month that celebrates Older American Month.
According to Saipan Tribune archives, one of the events that was held in 2018 was the Man’amko Takeover Day, which consisted of the elderly taking over Cabinet positions like Department of Finance secretary, Department of Community Cultural Affairs secretary, and even the position of CNMI governor. This serves as a way for the CNMI elderly to get a glimpse of what it’s like to run the islands these days.