CH distributes cash aid to seniors

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Saturday, February 8, 2014


CLOSE to 60,000 senior citizens in Cebu City received their financial assistance from the City Government yesterday.

They each got P3,000. The P2,000 was the balance from last year, while the P1,000 served as the City’s Valentine’s Day gift to them and the initial release of their assistance for this year.

Mayor Michael Rama had asked the City Treasurer’s Office to release the money before Feb. 14.

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For Engracia and Joaquin Navaja of Barangay Guadalupe, they will use the money to buy maintenance medicine.

“We’re too old to celebrate Valentine’s but we’re still happy that the City decided to release the assistance before Valentine’s Day” Engracia said in Cebuano.

She said they will eat a simple dinner with the whole family as thanksgiving for living this long as a couple.

Engracia, 85, and her husband Joaquin, 86, chose to personally claim their aid at the Guadalupe gym even though they had to be assisted by their two daughters since they have a hard time walking.

Improvement

City Administrator Lu-celle Mercado who supervised the whole-day distribution said the distribution was orderly.

“It was smooth, peaceful and quick,” she said.

Most of the seniors also told Sun.Star Cebu that this year’s distribution was quick and organized.

Virginia Po, 75, said her cash was released in less than five minutes.

“We thank the City and the mayor that the release was quick and without hassle. Our blood pressure didn’t go up unlike last year,” Po said in Cebuano.

Department of Public Services Chief Rolando Ardosa, who supervised the distribution in Guadalupe, said he preferred to distribute the cash inside the gym so the seniors wouldn’t have to walk far.

Guadalupe, being the biggest barangay, has a total of 4,246 beneficiaries.

In Lahug, City Engineer Jose Marie Poblete said they were able to distribute 90 percent of the cash aid.

No-shows

Only fewer hitches were also observed yesterday.

In Guadalupe, Ardosa would not allow one senior to claim his money since he didn’t have his senior citizen ID with him.

Jaime Catacutan said he lost his ID, and the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs gave him a certification to prove he is a member.

But Ardosa advised him to visit City Hall tomorrow.

Mercado said only 15 percent of the total population of seniors were not able to claim the aid since most of them are bedridden.

Department heads were not able to go to the houses to give the cash to bedridden seniors due to the time constraint, but Mercado assured them that their representatives can claim their aid at City Hall.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 09, 2014.

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