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‘ICY’ RELATIONSHIP

Makati’s senior citizens unhappy with Mayor Abby Binay

Some of Makati City’s 80,000 senior citizens have taken issue with Mayor Abby Binay after she implemented stricter rules on the release of their benefits.

According to a statement released by three chapter chairs of the Barangay Council of Senior Citizens (BCSC), a “string of incidents that have disappointed the city’s senior citizens” have occurred throughout the first term of the mayor who is up for reelection in 2019.

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They also decried Binay’s alleged “insensitivity” to their members’ struggles and described their relationship with her as “icy.”

In particular, the group complained about the “unreasonable” rules that made it “more difficult for seniors to claim their benefits.”

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BCSC Barangay Tejeros chapter chair Gaudelia Walde said due to the new rules, the incentives should now be claimed in person by the beneficiary.

Only exempted were those who were bedridden, differently abled or confined in a hospital.

“Even if they don’t have a disability or are not bedridden, it is still difficult for our seniors to line up in basketball courts or wherever in the barangay to get their cash,” Walde added.

Makati’s seniors are granted “Blu Cards” which provide benefits such as free movies in city theaters at any time, as well as the biannual cash incentives which range from P3,000 to P5,000 depending on the beneficiary’s age.

Binay responds

In a statement on Tuesday, Binay did not address the allegations directly although she stressed that senior citizens from 23 BCSC chapters attended a dialogue on Monday to express their appreciation for her initiatives, including the stricter guidelines.

The attendees also “unanimously agreed” that the previous rules were “prone to abuse and misuse,” she said.

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“In the past, …some Blu Card holders were deprived of the right to enjoy the incentive because a child, grandchild or another family member had claimed the money without their knowledge or permission,” Binay added.

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TAGS: Abby Binay, Barangay Council of Senior Citizens, BCSC, Blu Cards, Gaudelia Walde, Makati senior citizens
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