Bigger cash gift for QC centenarians OK’d
The Quezon City government has increased the financial aid extended to centenarian residents. Under an ordinance signed by Mayor Herbert Bautista last week, the cash gift is raised from P10,000 to P50,000. Aside from this gift, centenarians in the city are already receiving a P1,000 monthly allowance, a P1,000 birthday gift and another P1,000 for Christmas. The local Office of Senior Citizens’ Affairs currently lists 72 centenarians in the city as of December 2014, with Salama Guiama Shalik being the oldest at 108. City Hall regularly holds recognition programs for the elderly, usually as part of the Monday flag ceremony. The ordinance increasing the cash gift was authored by District 2 Councilor Voltaire Liban III and was signed by Bautista on Feb. 5. Liban noted that when it was only P10,000, the whole amount usually got used up just for the recipient’s birthday celebration. The significant increase would thus allow the elderly to have extra cash especially for medicines, vitamins and other needs, he said. Rima Granali
Foundation-run clinic opens for Manila folk
A private clinic offering free medical services recently opened in Manila, lauded by its proponents as a model for local governments in providing primary healthcare. The two-story Kabaka Clinic, Pharmacy and Diagnostic Center in Pandacan offers consultations, medicines and laboratory testing to residents of Manila’s 5th district and members of the Kabaka Foundation. The foundation has partnered with volunteer doctors from Manila Doctors Hospital, Manila Medical Center and Chinese General Hospital for the free consultations. The clinic was built through donations and fundraisers conducted by Kabaka and its founder, Manila 5th District Rep. Amado Bagatsing. At the inauguration rites on Wednesday, doctor Tony Leachon, president of the Philippine College of Physicians, proposed the adoption of a healthcare policy where government funds may be used to sustain the clinic’s free services and have the project replicated in other cities and municipalities. “The poor sometimes have to pay (for services) in big hospitals when there’s money for them. Sin tax funds are not being maximized. We need to step up to the plate by creating local programs so that money will be spent the right way,” Leachon added. Welcoming the proposal, Bagatsing said the government should set up more of such facilities, but said Kabaka is committed to serving its community, with or without government assistance. Manila currently has six city-funded hospitals, at one per district, aside from hosting national government hospitals. Erika Sauler
Teenage robber picked wrong spot for getaway
An 18-year-old woman, who said she desperately needed cash to buy drugs, was arrested for robbing a taxi driver Thursday afternoon in Pasig City. Rosalyn Ledesma apparently picked the wrong spot to make her getaway and get off the cab with her P550 loot just a few meters away from a police outpost. Police said Ledesma flagged down a TransCity cab driven by Elemar Halog around 1:45 p.m. in front of Pasig City Hall and asked to be brought to Edsa-Crossing. She declared a holdup 30 minutes later, poking a long knife at the driver, as they reached Pasig Boulevard in Barangay Caniogan. Instead of alighting right there, the woman ordered Halog to make a U-turn. She finally got off after they encountered heavy traffic, not knowing that the cab was already near a police outpost, said P03 Erwin Lombredas of the Pasig police. Halog was able to alert the officers at the site and Ledesma was cornered after a brief chase. Recovered from Ledesma was an 11-inch knife and the driver’s money. Ledesma, a resident of Sucat, Parañaque City, remained in detention on Friday and may face six years in prison for robbery. Jovic Yee
UE Caloocan homecoming on Feb. 24
The University of the East-Caloocan Alumni Association Inc. (UECAAI) will celebrate its sixth grand alumni homecoming on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 4:30 p.m., on the UEC campus on 105 Samson Road, Caloocan City. The program is dubbed “The Barn Party: Kita-kits sa UE Open Field,” where participants are invited to come in cowboy attire, said UECAAI chair and president, lawyer Jose Romblon. For inquiries, call UECAAI secretariat at 0916-5544136 (Lilian) or 0918-9670620 (Joey).