Mike: Goods for seniors better than extra cash

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita January 10,2014 - 12:05 PM

AFTER announcing that he can’t assure a full amount of P12,000 as cash assistance for senior citizens this year as he promised, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said material assistance was better than additional cash.

“I didn’t say that there won’t be P12,000 assistance. I made it clear that whatever happens, the P6,000 will be given. The other assistance can be in kind” he said, such as medicine, groceries or insurance coverage.

“This way, it can be directly enjoyed by them. It won’t go to loan sharks or abusive children and grandchildren who just wait and ask for money from the senior citizens. It’s something they can really make use of,” he said.

Rama said he had to make adjustments since his P10 billion budget proposal for 2014 was cut down to P5 billion.

Councilor Margot Osmeña, who chairs the council committee on budget and finance, said the mayor was misleading the public on the issue because the council approved intact a P720 million budget for senior citizens aid this year at P12,000 each for 60,000 registered senior citizens in the city.

A P2,000 balance for the elderly was not released by the city last year, from an earmarked P10,000 allowance, a shortage that the mayor’s critics said proved that his administration had cash flow problems.

City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas said the P2,000 balance for assistance to persons with disabilities (PWDs) and barangay officials will be given starting today until tomorrow.

The aid for PWDs will be distributed through the barangays today and tomorrow while the cash assistance for barangay officials for December last year will be given tomorrow at City Hall.

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TAGS: goods, Mayor Michael Rama, senior citizens

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