Beneficiaries of Cebu City’s senior citizen’s assistance program will be issued with ATM cards so they can easily claim their financial assistance in full as a birthday gift from the city government.
Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City’s south district said the release of financial assistance once a year is easier to process and will resolve the problem of long lines of claimants at City Hall.
“That way, you won’t have 60,000 people to collect (their assistance) in one day,” he said in yesterday’s press conference .
Mayor Michael Rama wanted the P10,000 senior citizen cash assistance released every quarter at P2,500 each starting in April.
The Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) bloc in the City Council wanted the assistance released at P800 per month to take care of the food and medicine needs of the seniors.
“The treasurer says we have money so why not give it monthly. In their petition they say they need it for their daily subsistence so why don’t they release it daily,” said Councilor Margot Osmeña, the congressman’s wife.
If he were to have his way, Osmeña said he wanted senior citizen assistance which Rama promised to increase to P12,000 next year during the recipient’s birthday.
He also intends to hire full-time staffers to only focus on the processing of the senior citizens cash assistance and set up a system that would hasten the release of the assistance.
Osmeña said lapses and delays in the processing of senior citizen’s cash assistance under the Rama administration is evident due to inadequate personnel.
Since personnel assigned to do the job are borrowed from other City Hall offices, one cannot expect them to be efficient in their new task.
“They do not know how to handle that because that is not their regular job,” Osmeña told reporters.