BAGUIO CITY – The city council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance appropriating ten million pesos to fund the initial implementation of the birthday resent-giving-program of the city government for senior citizens of the city under to the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9257 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act, subject to applicable laws, accounting and auditing rules and procedures.
The ordinance by Councilor Edgar M. Avila said that bonafide senior citizens of the city shall be provided with or entitled to a simple gift from the city government during their birthdays every year.
Under the ordinance, the City Social Welfare and Development Office is tasked with the strict implementation of the local legislative measure and it shall determine, through the accomplished registration forms submitted to the said office, their respective birthdays and addresses where its personnel shall deliver the appropriate gift worth P500 from the city.
The ordinance shall apply to all members of the senior citizens of the city on their birthdays, provided that, said senior citizens are registered and holders of appropriate identification cards issued by the city government through the City Social Welfare and Development Office.
Senior citizens or elderly are those residents of the city who are at least 60 years of age, while a bonafide senior citizen refers to those elderly who are registered as such with the City Social Welfare and Development Office.
The local legislative measure mandated the City Social Welfare and Development Office to ascertain what would be the applicable gift to be given to the senior citizens upon the approval of the local chief executive.
This amount to be included as part of the budget of the city next year and every year thereafter, shall be increased depending on the number of senior citizens in the city’s 128 barangays eligible for this gift.
The ordinance was referred to the city council committee on social services, women and urban poor for study and recommendation.
The proponent claimed the birthday present from the local government to the qualified senior citizens will be in recognition of their valuable contributions to the welfare of the Baguio residents, saying that being a highly urbanized city, it is but proper for the city to adopt the said program like other cities in the different parts of the country.
The Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA), in close coordination with the City Social Welfare and Development Office, shall prepare the appropriate forms for the mass registration of senior citizens in the different barangays of the city to update the masterlist of elderly in the city in time for the implementation of the birthday present gift program that may institutionalized in the future./By Dexter A. See