Mayor Abigail Binay on Tuesday said some 60,209 residents of 33 barangays in Makati City have availed various free services offered through the Lingkod Bayan Caravan held every Saturday in a designated barangay.
Binay called on residents, whom she fondly calls “Makatizens,” to keep track of the caravan schedules in their respective barangays so that they can receive the benefits intended for them.
“I initiated the Lingkod Bayan Caravan in 2016 right after I assumed office, out of my desire to make basic services more accessible to our dear Makatizens. Our service caravan is doing the rounds of all 33 barangays, including the villages, to ensure that we reach as many residents as possible,” the mayor said.
“All they have to do is bring themselves and their family members to the venue to get the free services, which include free hot meals, medicines, reading glasses, toys and children’s storybooks,” she added.
Binay pointed out that the caravan has fostered the “bayanihan” spirit between the city government and the private sector. Aside from basic services, participants in caravans can also pay their electric and water bills through authorized utility payment centers set up at the venue.
The caravan is one of the twin programs established by the current administration in line with the mayor’s thrust of inclusivity, where “everyone partakes of the city’s robust economic growth.”
The Ugnayan sa Barangay weekly dialog has drawn thousands of residents who were able to ask questions and express their concerns directly to the mayor herself, who made sure to be always present.
Early this year, she directed department heads to report on their accomplishments and upcoming projects prior to the dialog proper, to promote transparency and keep residents well-informed.
“Our weekly dialogs have helped us gain first-hand accounts of our constituents’ prime concerns and suggestions on how we could improve our services. We have also been able to explain to them how and why we are implementing a certain measure or action, which can get them to cooperate and support our initiatives,” Binay said.
The twin activities of the city government have reached all six Makati villages from July to September, with a total of 2,347 Makatizens served by the caravan in Bel-Air, Dasmariñas, Forbes Park, Magallanes, San Lorenzo, and Urdaneta.
Since the caravan’s launch in 2016, social and medical services have consistently been “bestsellers” for Makatizens. From August 2016 to September 22 this year, a total of 71,987 clients were listed under various social services, while 53,107 were given medical services.
Social services offered include free massage, haircut, and feeding, as well as acceptance of applications and inquiries on benefit cards, such as the Blu Card (Elderly Card), Makati Health Plus Card (Yellow Card), White Card, PWD Card, Solo Parent Card and PhilHealth Card.
Medical services include free consultations, nutritional assessment, checking of blood pressure and blood sugar, height and weight, ECG, blood typing, and chest x-ray examination.
Dental services were given to some 5,917 clients, of whom 4,033 had tooth extraction and 2,334 were fitted for free dentures. A total of 9,388 Makatizens also underwent free eye consultation.
Meanwhile, under the sponsorship of Vice Mayor Monique Lagdameo, a total of 14,386 city Makatizens availed themselves of free reading glasses.
Veterinary services were also provided to some 6,306 dogs and cats.
Residents can also file applications for civil registry documents at the caravan while individuals completing requirements for job applications can process their police clearance, and obtain free ID pictures from installed photo booths. Free legal and marriage counselling services, as well as assistance to OFWs, are also available at the caravan.
Households can conveniently pay bills and conduct cash transfers through mobile Bayad Centers, Manila Electric Co. and Manila Water booths.