SENIOR citizens, better eat more pancit for longer life.
This, as the Cebu City Council approved the amendment to City Ordinance No. 2235 entitled, “An Ordinance Conferring the Centenary Senior Citizens’ Award to Qualified Senior Citizens on October of Each Year.”
The amendment was authored by Councilors Eugenio Gabuya Jr., Lea Japson and Raymond Alvin Garcia. The City Council approved the amendment on Aug. 18, 2021.
Gabuya said the amendment includes octogenarians and nonagenarians as recipients of cash incentives from the City.
For the past years, the City Government only awards residents who are 100 years old, the centenarians, with a cash incentive of P100,000.
The amended ordinance provides a cash incentive of P5,000 to senior citizens who are 80-89 years old; and P15,000 for thosewho are 90-99 years old.
If the recipients reach 100 years old, they will receive P80,000.
“Our senior citizens, at the age of 100, they will receive P100,000; however, some senior citizens could not reach such age, and by the time they reach 80 years old, some are already experiencing a few ailments. That is why we will do it on a staggered basis,” said Gabuya.
He said: “When they reach 80 years old, they will receive cash incentives. Once they turn 90 years old, they will also receive the second tranche, and when they turn 100 years old, the remaining (amount) will be given to them.”
Gabuya said he, as well as Garcia and Japson, decided to push for lowering the age of the senior citizens to qualify for cash incentives, considering not many senior citizens can reach 100 years old.
He said the cash incentive can help a senior citizen buy maintenance medicines.
The amended ordinance may be implemented in 2022.
Gabuya said the budget for the program will be sourced from the 2022 annual budget, and the initial target budget for the program is P50 million.
Necitas Babol, a 70-year old Cebu City resident, said the incentive is something she looks forward to once she reaches the age of 80.
“Nalipay. At least naay mapaabot ug maningkamot nga mabuhi (I’m delighted. At least I have something to look forward to and I will try to survive),” said Babol.
Babol said she is sure that other senior citizens are also happy with the amended ordinance.
The Office of the Senior Citizen Affairs (Osca) is the implementing office for the program.
SunStar Cebu tried to reach Osca head Jeffrey Ocampo to get data on how many senior citizens are qualified for the incentive program; however, Ocampo did not respond. (JJL)