Cebu City Council wants unclaimed 2021 senior financial assistance to be released

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | January 15,2022 - 02:33 PM

 

RELEASE OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE THAT WERE UNCLAIMED BY SENIORS PUSHED. In photo is the distribution of the financial aid to seniors on December 21, 2021 in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City.

Distribution of financial aid to seniors in Barangay Guadalupe in Cebu City on Tuesday, December 21, 2021. | contributed photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Council wants the Executive Department to release the last tranche of the financial assistance in 2021, which will be released to those who have failed to claim their cash aid.

This after the city suffered through Typhoon Odette before the release of the P3,000 financial assistance for the senior citizens, making it difficult for many to claim their assistance due to lack of communication.

Councilor Raul Alcoseba petitioned for the release of the assistance in a resolution for the city government to reconsider and allow the reprocessing of the forfeited Senior Citizens Financial Assistance of the last quarter of the year 2021 considering the devastation and disruption brought about by the typhoon.

“Wala man gyoy communication ato mao na nga ang uban wala sad nakakuha sa ilang financial assistance,” said Alcoseba.

(There is no communication then so the others failed to get their financial assistance.)

Many other councilors including minority floor leader, Nestor Archival, also expressed the desire to release the funds to those it was intended to because they received similar reports of such instances.

The City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) revealed that at least 14,000 senior citizens failed to claim their financial assistance during the distribution in December 2020, shortly after the typhoon. This means  that P13 million is returned to the city’s coffers.

Councilor Raymond Garcia, the majority floor leader and budget and finance chairperson, said that this might be a challenging prospect because all funds not used by year-end would revert back to the general fund.

City Treasurer Mare Vae Reyes, who was asked to speak to the Council regarding the matter, said that financial assistance was not one of the accounts that could be reprocessed once the City Accounting Department had closed their books following the year’s end.

“I don’t think it’s one of the accounts that can be reprocessed because (it’s) considered as expense man gud ni at the end of the year,” said Reyes.

However, Reyes said that the City Council might opt for a Supplemental Budget (SB) this year to have the allocated funds last year reclaimed and released to the beneficiaries.

Still, she said the Accounting Department would look into the possibility of finding ways to get the funds back and release them to the senior citizens.

Mayor Michael Rama, for his part, said the Executive Department would find all means to get the last tranche of the 2021 financial assistance to the senior citizens who needed them.

In his response to the City Council, Rama said he would have the City Legal Office look into the legalities of reallocating the funds back for the financial assistance.

“I can assure you that if and when this (senior citizen financial assistance) issue will reach my end, I can see the nobility, the justification. If it is within my authority to expand, I will subscribe to the wishes of the council. I will have the city attorney look into it if it is meritorious for me to attach approval,” said the mayor.

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TAGS: Cebu City Council, City Treasurer’s Office, financial assistance, senior citizens

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