Making good on his promise, Parañaque City Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez today said he has signed into law an ordinance granting monetary benefits for the city’s estimated 50,000 senior citizens under the so-called Senior Cash Transfer Program, as well as death benefit assistance, in recognition of the important contribution of elderly citizens to community development and nation-building.
The benefits are spelled out under Ordinance 13-14, series of 2013, which also mandates the establishment of a Parañaque OSCA (Office of Senior Citizens Affairs) Cares Card System for registered and qualified senior citizens.
“We have delivered on another promise to our constituents, particularly to our elderly citizens, who deserve all the care and appreciation we can give in return for their long years of service to our communities and families,” Mayor Olivarez said. “We will make sure that our citizens enjoy these benefits by providing the means and resources for these programs.”
The ordinance mandates the allocation of Php27 million for the first year of the implementation to fund the cash transfers and death benefits. Thereafter, an amount of Php29.5 million will be automatically appropriated for the succeeding years, with a provision of a 20 percent increase if deemed necessary by the implementing offices.
Under the ordinance, senior citizens will get a Php500 cash gift on their birthday and another Php500 for their year-end cash gift under the Cash Transfer Program. The ordinance also mandates a minimum of Php2,000 in death benefits to the survivors of senior citizens who pass away.
The ordinance will take effect starting January 2014. It was principally authored by Councilors Vincent Kenneth (Coach Binky) Favis and Joan Villafuerte-Densing and was passed by the City Council last October 24, 2013.
Under the ordinance, senior citizens who may avail of the benefits are those who are registered voters in the city and have been residents of Parañaque for at least three years, and must be a member of a duly accredited senior citizens’ association or organization in the barangays where they reside.
Only those who meet the qualifications will be issued an OSCA ID and an OSCA Cares ID card, both of which must be presented when drawing the cash benefits from their respective barangay halls.
Moreover, if the senior citizens are a couple, only one will be entitled to draw the birthday and year-end cash gifts.
The birthday cash gifts will be released every June for those whose birthdays fall between January and June, while those who celebrate their birthday from July to December may draw their cash gifts every December.
The year-end cash gift will be released every October, which is Senior Citizens’ Month.