Cebu News

Thousands get P3K aid

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon, Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — To address inflation and protect the purchasing power of the Filipino families, the National Government, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development, has launched the “Ayuda Para sa Kapos ang Kita Program” (AKAP), with Cebu joining the national and simultaneous launching, w.

Over 8,000 of the one million program beneficiaries, who each received P3,000, joined the Cebu launching.

This, as the Cebu City Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) said it is looking at lowering the age requirements for centenarians’ partial cash benefit, as well as additional budget for newly qualified seniors.

Atty. Homer Cabaral, OSCA head, said they are seriously considering proposing to the City Council to legislate the lowering of the age of the beneficiaries for the partial centenarian aid from 80 to 70.

Cabaral noted that not all senior citizens could reach the age of 80, thus the need for the incentive to be given early.

 “Dili practical (kung paabton pa og 100). Tinood nga makaabot lage og 100 pero maglubog na sad ka. Dili na nimo mapahimuslan ang P100,000,” Cabaral said via Cebu City Hall’s online media platform RMN Sugboanon Channel.

Lowering the age of qualified beneficiaries, he said, would allow seniors to enjoy the benefits without the long wait.

“Kung partial man gani na, mohangyo ta nga paubsan gamay (ang edad). Kung 70 (years old), P10, 000 (ang madawat); kung 80 (years old,) P20,000,” Cabaral said.

Based on Republic Act (RA) 11982 (Act Granting Benefits to Filipino Octogenarians and Nonagenarian), all Filipinos reaching the ages of 80, 85, 90, and 95, are entitled to P10, 000 worth of cash gifts while those who reach the age of 100 gets P100,000.

In support of the said law, the City Council also passed an ordinance that provides a yearly appropriation for its intent.

OSCA Administrative Head, Reynaldo Abesia shared the observation as Cabaral, that only a few senior citizens could reach the age of 100.

“Seldom na man gyud kaayo atong mga senior citizens nga makaabot pa anang edara. At least ma-enjoy ang cash incentives before reaching 100,” he said, in agreeing to what Cabaral said.

Aside from adjusting the age requirement for qualified octogenarian and nonagenarian and the likes, OSCA is also hoping for more budget allocation from the city government.

Cabaral said, there are now 95,555 registered senior citizens in the city, but 5,555 more who qualified to get the assistance have not been getting it because of the limited budget.

 “Maninguha ta nga sa next budget hearing, ma-budgetan nato katong mga senior citizens ang mga registered voters para sa tuig 2023,” he said.

“Mangayo ta’g pangaliya, mag-ampo ta og atong paninguhaon nga ma-budgetan ning mga senior citizens nga wala pa ka-avail og financial assistance,” he added.

Based on City Ordinance 2529, qualified beneficiaries can avail of the P12,000 yearly financial assistance from the city, provided that they comply with requirements, which includes that he or she must be a registered voter at least as early as 2013.

As to the AKAP launching, the program was initiated by House Speaker Martin Romualdez and approved by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. as part of the government's effort to address needs of low-income families, especially with the economic challenges of our time.

The financial assistance s intended for minimum wage earners falling under the category of low income who are severely affected by rising inflation in the country.

AKAP covers individuals like tricycle drivers, laborers, farmers, domestic workers, security guards, Barangay Health Workers (BHWs), barangay tanods, sales ladies, carenderia workers, carpenters, and many more in the low-income category.

In Cordova, Cebu the launching was led by Cebu 6th district Rep. Daphne Lagon and Ako Bisaya Partylist Representative Sonny Lagon. The 600 beneficiaries who got their P3,000 were motocad drivers and sikad-sikad drivers were from barangays of San Miguel, Baugsong, and Dapitan of the town.

In their respective speeches, the Lagon couple expressed thanks to Romualdez and the President for the initiative, since inflation has caused the rising cost of rice, food, and other necessities.

Rep. Daphne said the 600 beneficiaries were just the first batch, as 3,000 in the town will received the said amount.

In Mandaue City, Lone District Rep. Emmarie “Lolypop” Ouano-Dizon explained to the 647 beneficiaries that this new government financial assistance aims to at least give a sigh of relief to minimum wage earners.

She said 2,353 more fisherfolk, solo parents, street and market vendors will received their financial assistance by batches in the next few days.

In Lapu-Lapu City, the payout was led by Lone District Rep. Cindi King-Chan, wherein 1,246 beneficiaries received the said financial assistance. They are BHWs, motorcycle drivers, laborers, vendors, rags and rope makers from different barangays, including the island barangays of Olango, Caubian, and Pangan-an.

“Ang AKAP dili lamang usa ka programa sa ayuda. Ang AKAP maoy pamatuod nga ang gobyerno tinuod nga nagpakabana sa iyang katawhan, nga gusto namong tabangan ang tanan—dili lang ang poorest of the poor kundi apil na kadtong adunay trabaho apan kulang, sama ninyo atong mga beneficiaries,” King-Chan said during the payout.

In Talisay City, the entire City Council, headed by Acting Mayor Choy Aznar, led the distribution of same financial assistance to 256 beneficiaries, who are farmers and fisherfolks.

The AKAP launching in Cebu City south district, on the other hand, was led by Congressman Edu Rama, with nearly a thousand beneficiaries from the 34 barangays in the south district.

All beneficiaries were BHWs and Barangay Public Safety Officers of the 34 barangays.

“Dako ang among pasalamat tungod sa inyong serbisyo. Kini nga sektor usa sa atong giuna kay sukad pa kaniadto sa pagsulod nako aning panerbisyo, nakita nako kon unsa mo kakugihan diha sa inyohang trabaho,” Rama said. (CEBU NEWS)

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