Mayor Abigail Binay on Wednesday assured the 80,000 registered elderly citizens of Makati City that their welfare remains a top priority of her administration, citing the P422.7-million budget it allocated for the programs intended for them this year.
Binay said the amount represents almost a third of the entire budget for the Social Welfare sub-sector, which has been increased to P1.57 billion, or 40.8 percent higher than the budget last year.
“We have made sure that our beloved senior Makatizens will be able to continuously enjoy the services and benefits we have accorded them, which other localities across the nation have been trying to emulate,” she said.
Makati is known for its many innovative programs for senior citizens, which go beyond the provisions of national laws concerning the elderly. It has provided cash gifts, free and unlimited admission to cinemas in the city, free birthday cakes and golden wedding anniversary cakes, free medicines and subsidized medical services, and free tours, among others.
Of the total budget for the elderly, the city has allotted P330.1 million for the annual cash gifts and one-time Centenarian cash gift under the Blu Card; P40 million for free movies; P36.1 million for free cakes on birthdays and golden wedding anniversaries; P3.9 million for Lakbay Saya; and P6.5 million for cultural and theatrical presentations.
The remaining budget of P6 million has been allotted to burial assistance for Blu Card holders amounting to P3,000 each.
Under the Blu Card program, the elderly receive an annual cash gift corresponding to their age categories as follows: 60 to 69 years old receive P3,000; 70 to 79, P4,000; and 80 to 89, P5,000. It is given in two tranches, in June and December of each year.
In 2012, the city started giving a one-time P100,000 cash gift to Blu cardholders upon reaching 100 years old through City Ordinance 2012-099. To date, 45 centenarians have received the cash gift.
Other major Social Welfare programs being funded by the city government include the Makati Universal Health Insurance with P70.3 million for the year; Lingkod Bayan Caravan, P30.6 million; Disaster Relief Assistance, P12 million; and Aid to Individuals and Families in Crisis Situations, P24.2 million.
For the PWD sector, the city has earmarked P6 million for mobility aids and P4 million for their free movies privilege, while for indigent solo parents, the city has allotted P2.5 million.
A total of P88.7 million has been allocated to programs promoting youth and sports development.
A pioneering advocate of Gender and Development programs, the city has allocated P21 million for capacity enhancement under the Makati GAD Council, and P43.6 million for programs under the Makati City Council for the Protection of Children.