TACLOBAN CITY – The city government of Baybay in Leyte has begun the payout of its one-time PHP500 cash subsidy for senior citizens.
Since its distribution last week, the city social welfare and development office (CWSDO) has already served about 60 percent of the 12,762 target beneficiaries in 92 villages.
“This was the initiative of former mayor Carmen Cari, which started five years ago and has become a regular program of the local government. It covers all senior citizens, whether or not a pensioner,” Manuel Icon Donaire, CSWDO head, said in a phone interview on Wednesday.
For 2020, the city government has set aside PHP6.7 million for the program taken from its senior citizens’ fund, equivalent to 1 percent of its internal revenue allotment.
Donaire said the budget includes the same cash assistance for some 705 persons with disability (PWD) also scheduled for release this month.
“The payout is ongoing. We have clustered the villages to avoid mass gathering in compliance with the health protocols. We target to complete the distribution early next week so we could immediately start the payout for the PWDs,” he added.
Donaire clarified that those who just turned 60 years old this year from July 1 onwards would be included in the qualified recipients for 2021.
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is scheduled to conduct the direct payout of the 2020 social pension to recipient senior citizens in the city from December 7 to 14.
Donaire said the city government has required the special disbursing officers from the DSWD regional office here to undergo swab tests for the coronavirus disease 2019 before the cash distribution.
“This was the agreement since senior citizens are vulnerable and considered as high-risk. They have to arrive two days before the payout and if one of them tests positive, the payout will be suspended,” he added.
Under Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, qualified beneficiaries are each entitled to a PHP500 monthly stipend they could use to augment their daily subsistence and other medical needs. (PNA)