Cebu News

OSCA: Amend ordinance on cash aid to seniors

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/ATO - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City’s Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs is suggesting for amendments in the proposed ordinance that will continue to provide cash assistance to senior citizens in the city.

During the January 20-regular session of the City Council, OSCA head Dominggo Chavez suggested amendments in the proposed ordinance granting P12,000 cash assistance to all qualified senior citizens in the city by Councilors Alvin Dizon, Lea Japson, and Eugenio Gabuya.

The city has been adopting the giving of the aid to the elderly through an executive order by Mayor Michael Rama.

One of OSCA’s suggestions, Chavez said, is to have senior citizens, who are receiving financial aid but are not residents of the city, removed from the list of cash beneficiaries.

Chavez said he notices that the number of senior citizens listed in the payroll list continue to increase every year.

In 2008, 25,000 senior citizens received the P2,000 cash aid from the city.

But as of today, Chavez said there are already 67,300 senior citizens in the list and he believes some are from other towns and provinces.

Section 5 of the proposed ordinance provides that senior citizens who fail to claim their aid for three consecutive times will be deleted from the master list.

Chavez wants to reduce it from three consecutive times to two.

“In this case, the number of consecutive times of failure to claim financial assistance for deletion from the master list is shortened, a disadvantage on the part of the out of town recipients,” he said.

Section 8 of the proposed ordinance provides that the city government will give due notice to the barangay at least a week prior to the scheduled releasing of the aid.

Chavez said this should be reduced from one week down to two or three days so that “out-of-town” recipients will have no clue or hint regarding the distribution.

Also, he suggested reducing the grace period in claiming the financial assistance from 10 days to only five days so that the elderly will have limited time to claim it.

Section 10 of the proposed ordinance provides that the financial assistance will be given on the last week of the end of the quarter.

Chavez said it should be any day of the quarter so that “out-of-town” senior citizens will have no idea as to when the release of the aid will be.

City Councilor Alvin Arcilla asked Chavez if a monthly distribution of the aid would be possible. But Chavez explained that it would be difficult for personnel of the city government as far as preparation of the payroll is concerned, noting that a quarterly distribution is more suitable.

“Finally, under section 8 phase II 3 involving physical incapacity is a duplication of item 7 involving bedridden senior citizens. More so, authorization is not allowed,” Chavez said, adding that he is hoping that suggestions of the office will be noted.

On the other hand, City Councilor Sisinio Andales told Chavez not to be too “stingy.”

“The purpose of the ordinance is to give financial aid to our senior citizens. So, don’t be too stingy,” Andales said.

Flora Bering, representative of the city’s Department of the Social Welfare and Services, said the department has the same manifestation with OSCA.

But Bering asked the authors of the proposed measure to add a representative of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the focal person of the DSWS under the grievance committee.

Japson said observations and suggestions of the stakeholders will be considered during the final deliberation of the ordinance. (FREEMAN)



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