The city government of Makati on Monday started the distribution of year-end cash gifts to 75,565 senior citizens as part of the Blu Card program during the holiday season of the city’s Social Welfare Department for the elderly.
The distribution, City Social Welfare chief Ryan Barcelo said, will run from December 5 to December 14. He said the qualified beneficiaries are set to receive their cash gifts on scheduled dates from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at designated venues.
On the instructions of Mayor Abigal Binay, the MSWD will also hand out tickets for the traditional Pamaskong Handog bags to the recipients of the cash gift. The bags can be claimed at the City Hall Quadrangle starting Thursday, December 8.
This year, each gift bag contains assorted canned goods, including imported luncheon meat, tuna flakes, corned beef, spaghetti packs, fruit cocktail, cheese, condensed milk and two T-shirts.
Scheduled for distribution yesterday were BLU Card holders from barangays Bangkal, Carmona, Dasmariñas and Pinagkaisahan. The elders got their cash gift at their respective barangay halls.
The gift distribution for those from San Miguel Village in Poblacion was done at their multi-purpose hall, while seniors of Barangay Comembo got theirs at the village covered court.
On December 6, the distribution for barangays East Rembo and Poblacion will take place at their respective covered courts. For barangays Guadalupe Viejo and Southside, it will be done at their barangay halls.
The barangay halls of Pitogo, San Lorenzo and Singkamas will be the venue of the gift distribution on Dec. 7, while recipients from Guadalupe Nuevo can claim their cash gifts at their covered court.
On Dec. 8, Thursday, distribution will be done at barangay halls of Bel-Air and San Isidro, while West Rembo and La Paz beneficiaries will line up at their barangay covered courts.
Elders from barangays Forbes Park, Cembo and Northside will receive their gifts on December 9 at their barangay halls, while those from Palanan and San Antonio Village will get theirs at their covered court.
Beneficiaries from Pio del Pilar (San Isidro High School) and Sta. Cruz (barangay hall) are scheduled on Dec. 10
After a break on December 11, the distribution will resume on December 12 at the Elderly Wellness Center in Tejeros, as well as at the barangay halls of barangays Magallanes and Olympia for their respective residents.
On December 13, the South Cembo covered court and barangay halls of Rizal and Urdaneta will be the distribution sites for their respective residents.
Lastly, on December 14, BLU Card holders from Valenzuela and Pembo can claim their cash gift at their respective covered courts, while recipients from Kasilawan can get theirs at their barangay hall.
The BLU Card Program was launched in 2002 initially to provide financial assistance amounting to P3,000 to beneficiaries of a BLU card holder upon his or her demise. It was later expanded to include financial assistance in the form of a cash gift to augment their budget for daily needs like food and medicine.
In claiming the cash gift, beneficiaries who are unable to come in person can send their duly authorized representative, whose name appears at the back of the BLU Card, to the Cash Division at the 3rd floor of Makati City Hall. The representative should be able to present a medical certificate as proof of the beneficiaries’ condition, whether bedridden, disabled or confined in a hospital.
Authorization forms are available at the SWD office at the fifth floor of Makati City Hall. Senior citizens who are out-of-town or abroad during the distribution of the cash gift are not entitled to claim the benefit, and authorization presented by a representative will not be honored by the Cash Division.