Makati seniors get bonanza

November 18, 2018
Abby Binay

Mayor Abby to grant additional P10K cash gift per year to senior citizens aged 90 to 99
MAKATI Mayor Abby Binay today said she plans to grant a P10,000-cash gift per year to some 1,968 Makati senior citizens aged 90 to 99 who are Blu Card holders.

“We want to add new ways of helping our senior citizens who deserve care and compassion from the city government. Providing an additional P10,000 cash benefit yearly for our elderly in the said age group would help defray their daily subsistence and other needs,” Mayor Abby said.

Under this program, a senior citizen will receive P10,000 a year when she reaches the age of 90 until she turns 99. Those already in their 90s at the time of the program’s effectivity will receive P10,000 yearly for the remainder of the period before they turn 100.

Makati centenarians are already entitled to a P100,000 cash gift from the city government.

“Makati’s senior citizens are by far the most pampered among their peers in our country today. But this will not stop us from exploring more opportunities to make them happy, for it is always a pleasure to show them how grateful we are for their contributions to society during their heyday,” Mayor Abby said.

At present, senior citizens under the Blu Card program receive an annual cash gift given in two equal installments every June and December. Also, a total of 51 Makati centenarians have been awarded a P100,000 cash gift to date, including 26 during the present administration.

Since she assumed her post, Mayor Abby has been constantly seeking ways to enhance existing programs with the addition of innovative programs and processes, especially for the benefit of the elderly Makatizens.

In December 2016, she pushed for the increase in the cash gift distributed to Blu Card members every June and December, which was approved and implemented starting last year. Compared to 2014, this year’s budget allocation of P326.7 million for the benefit is 89.9 percent higher.

For the greater convenience of residents, Mayor Abby pushed for the extension of the validity period of the Yellow Card to spare long-time cardholders from the burden of renewing their cards every year. Her initiative paved the way for the issuance of lifetime membership in the acclaimed health program for qualified senior citizens and City Hall retirees, as well as Yellow Cards valid for three years and two years for those who meet the criteria.

The annual cash gift given every June and December varies according to specific age groups, as follows: P3,000 for those aged 60 to 69 years old, P4,000 for 70 to 79 years old, and P5,000 for those aged 80 and above.

Since 2017, the city’s senior citizens have been able to avail themselves of free vaccination against influenza and pneumonia because of Mayor Abby’s initiative to earmark P4.7 million to fund the citywide free vaccination program. Based on records of the Makati Health Department (MHD), 4,097 senior citizens received free flu vaccine, and 2,437 received free pneumococcal vaccine last year.

To date, more than 82,000 elderly Makatizens enjoy unparalleled perks which include, cash gift, unlimited free movies, free birthday and golden anniversary cakes, and free travel to popular spots and historical sites within Metro Manila and other parts of the country, among others.

Recently, the city government paid a total of P30.3 million to its five partner-cinemas for free movie tickets issued to its senior citizens and PWD residents from January to September this year.