Makati spent P180-M for its elderly in 2012

The city government of Makati spent almost P180 million in 2012 for the various programs it implemented for the benefit of its senior citizens.

Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay Jr. said the amount represents the combined expenses for four popular programs for the city’s elderly -- free movie entrance in all four cinema groups in the city; Harana ni Lolo at Lola, a cake-giving ceremony during birthdays and golden wedding anniversary; Lakbay Saya ni Lolo at Lola, travel and tour privileges within Metro Manila and other parts of the country; and BLU Card, which entitles cardholders to cash gifts twice a year and grants beneficiaries P3,000 in financial assistance upon their death.

“We believe these programs are but humble means to let our senior citizens feel how much we love and care for them. We cannot thank them enough for contributing richly to the betterment of the Makati community and of the entire country,” Binay said.

The mayor also expressed gratitude to the city’s partners in the private sector for their invaluable support to programs for the elderly through the years.

“We will always be grateful to our program partners for having consistently demonstrated their firm commitment to corporate social responsibility, largely ensuring the success of our programs,” he said.

The city government paid around P18 million to four cinema owners in the city for its 25 percent subsidy share on free movie tickets availed of by senior citizens for the entire year. For the 51,031 birthday and golden wedding anniversary cakes personally delivered to the homes of senior citizens, the city spent a total of P9.9 million.

Meanwhile, its expenses for Lakbay Saya tours, which included a city wide trip for 570 seniors and a trip to Bagac, Bataan for 100 seniors, amounted to almost P600,000. For its monthly presentation of Aawitan Kita at University of Makati that catered to the elderly of Makati and neighboring cities, P4.5 million was spent.

Binay also said over P141 million went to the allowance given to elderly citizens, while around P3 million in financial assistance was given to the beneficiaries of 1,562 BLU cardholders who died last year. A total of nine resident-centenarians made up the first batchof recipients of the P100,000 centenary cash gift from the city government last December, after the City Council approved the latest incentive program for the city’s elderly.

Last year, Mayor Binay was given the “Best of RADAR 2012” Award by the Philippine Retirement Authority in recognition of his “exemplary initiatives in leading the city as the ‘Most Retirement-and Aging-friendly City’ and for his “commitment and contribution to theretirement industry.”