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Less cash for seniors this year

By: Doris C. Bongcac January 08,2014 - 01:55 PM

Bad news for Cebu City’s senior citizens who are still waiting to receive the remaining P2,000 cash assistance promised to them by Mayor Michael Rama last year.

Rama confirmed yesterday that the city will only allocate P6,000 as cash assistance this year for its 60,000 registered senior citizens.

This is less than last year’s P10,000 allocation or half the amount of P12,000 that the mayor had promised last year as an increase in the subsidy for the elderly.

The amount will be added to the still unreleased P2,000 balance from the city’s 2013 assistance.

Rama said he wanted non-cash incentives like gift packs for distribution to seniors this year to compensate for their reduced cash aid.

Rama said he had to be “realistic” after the City Council approved a P5.9 billion budget for this year or half of the P10.5 billion he asked for.

But while the council reduced appropriation for some items in the 2014 budget, the council retained Rama’s P720 million budget request for seniors assistance.

The allocation is reflected in the 2014 budget which Rama signed on Dec. 27, 2013.

Rama said any budget cuts on his proposal would still affect City Hall operations.

“I already told (City Treasurer) Diwa (Cuevas) to prepare for ways on how to manage the city’s finances,” Rama said.

The City Treasurer’s Office is busy with the renewal of business permits scheduled from January 6 to 28.

Mayor Rama said he wanted the treasurer to speed up processing the still unreleased 2013 assistance of seniors, persons with disability (PWD) and barangay officials.

The city still owes senior citizens and PWDs P2,000 each while the fourth quarter assistance of barangay official remain unreleased.

Rama said he was told by Cuevas about problems in the documentation of some PWDs which delayed the processing of the P2,000 balance of their 2013 assistance of P5,000.

“I gave instructions to Diwa to already release the assistance of those whose documentations are in order,” Rama said.

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