No probe on ‘fake’ senior citizen IDs

SunStar Cebu City
SunStar Cebu City

THERE will be no investigation into the fraud incident that victimized four senior citizens from Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City, as the matter was considered “settled,” Councilor Pastor Alcover Jr. said Thursday, June 20.

The senior citizens who were supposed to get the P3,000 quarterly assistance from the City Government failed to receive it after unscrupulous individuals claimed the cash on their behalf.

The cash assistance covering the first three months of the year was released in March.

Alcover, chairman of the committee on senior citizens, stressed that there will be no further investigation into the incident since the matter is considered “settled” and that they are now focusing on improving the security features of the senior citizen IDs to deter scams.

He said the four senior citizens went to the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (Osca) sometime in April this year to report that their cash benefits were claimed by unknown individuals.

“Naay upat ka taga Mambaling nga niduol sa office niingon sila na duna na’y lain nikobra. Nangutana mi sa disbursement officer (DO) na pag present, kon ikaw moadto sa DO i-present nimo igkita sa DO imong nawng ug ngan narehistro, dawatun. Duna gyu’y fake ID na nagsuroy (There were four people from Mambaling who came to the office and they said that someone else took the cash. We asked the disbursement officer, if you go to the DO, you will present yourself to the DO with your name and registration, and it will be accepted. There are fake IDs that are going around),” said Alcover.

He stressed that the four elderly beneficiaries have already received the assistance following the incident.


Alcover opined that the reasons for the incident could be that the IDs were duplicated and laminated, they were pawned to another person, or it was an inside job.

Alcover also said that other IDs might have been lost by the previous owner and was used by the one who found it.

“Kining IDs sa mga senior citizens ordinary raman gud ni siya. Pwede ra gyud ni siya i-process sa computer, i-duplicate nya laminate mao na na siya. So ang mahitabo ani karon, dunay uban nga nagkinahanglan og kwarta ilaha iprenda ang ilang ID. Pagkahuman ang katong mga giprendahan sab ila ilisan og litrato unya silay mokobra (These IDs for senior citizens are just ordinary. It can be processed on the computer, and can be duplicated and laminated. So what will happen now, there are also others who need money and pawn their ID. After that, the pawnbroker will change their photo and will collect the cash),” said Alcover.

“Usa pud sa mga modus, kon naay mangamatay, naa guroy sindikato diha sulod sa opisina ila sab to buhatan og ID para makobra gihapon labi na if wa gihapon ma-report nga patay na. Daghan kaayo og pamaagi ang mga tawo para mangita og kwarta (One of the modus is that if someone dies, there could be a syndicate in the office, they will also make an ID so that they can still be covered by the assistance, especially if they have not been reported as dead. People have learned many ways to earn money),” he added.

As this developed, Cebu City Acting Mayor Garcia issued Executive Order (EO) 7 in May this year that established the latest guidelines on the distribution of senior citizen’s financial assistance.

The EO stated that “scanned or photocopied IDs shall not be honored and shall immediately be confiscated.” Violators shall be pursued with criminal charges responsible for falsification or counterfeiting of the senior citizen IDs, it added.

The EO has imposed that “disbursing officers shall take pictures of each senior citizen claiming of the financial assistance and shall submit a soft copy” to prevent deterrent imposters.

Finding solutions

Osca is now finding solutions to stop prospective thieves from using existing senior citizens’ cards, said Alcover.

“Karon ang among gihimo, among plano, nangita mi og pamaagi nga di na gyud ni sila makapangita og pamaagi nga di na gyud ni sila makapangita ug makapanghilabot og laing ID (Now what we are doing, our plan, we are looking for a way that they will never be able to find a way to tamper with another ID),” said Alcover.

He said that the committee will come up with a budget proposal for IDs with QR codes to prevent registered senior citizens from being scammed and robbed of their cash subsidy.

Earlier, Cebu City Councilor James Anthony Cuenco also raised the alleged scam involving persons with disabilities (PWD) IDs obtained by able-bodied individuals.

The falsified IDs were sold for about P2,000 to P4,000 enabling buyers of the fake IDs to receive the P12,000 annual financial assistance.

Meanwhile, Garcia said he will wait for the formal complaint from the four senior citizens for an investigation. / DPC


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