THE giving out of the financial assistance to senior citizens in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City on Friday morning, May 22, 2020, briefly turned chaotic as the village’s elderly rushed to the village complex to claim their aid without observing strict social distancing.
Due to the incident, Barangay Guadalupe chief Michael Gacasan temporarily suspended the distribution of the financial aid for a few hours in order to come up with a better system.
Gacasan blamed the Mayor’s Information and Liaison Office (Milo) of the Cebu City government for failing to coordinate with him and other barangay officials for the distribution.
The incident reportedly occurred around 9 a.m.
Some netizens posted videos on Facebook showing how senior citizens in the barangay gathered at the village complex without following strict social distancing.
A village official who saw the incident immediately called Gacasan to intervene.
Gacasan said he was at the hospital to care for his ailing mother when he was informed about the incident.
Upon seeing the crowd gathering outside the village complex, Gacasan immediately ordered that the distribution be halted temporarily and asked the senior citizens to go home in the meantime.
Gacasan said he had wanted Milo to leave the distribution of the senior citizens’ financial assistance to the barangay as they can easily locate those who can receive the aid.
In order to fix the problem, Gacasan sought the assistance of City Hall to provide a small bus to pick up senior citizens living in far sitios.
The senior citizens were then taken to the complex where they were allowed to enter the area to claim their assistance.
Gacasan said he was told by the Milo personnel that they implemented the distribution of the senior citizens’ aid at the complex and not house to house as promised because some of the beneficiaries failed to provide their specific address in their payroll.
“They (senior citizens) provided only the name of their barangay, but not the sitio where they live, which made it hard for the Milo personnel to conduct the distribution house to house,” Gacasan said in Cebuano. (JKV, Amper Campaña)