SENIOR citizens in Manila have more reasons to celebrate as Mayor Joseph E. Estrada bared his plan to introduce soon an annual project called “Balik Saya Program” catered to them.
“Our senior citizens have contributed to our society during the prime of their lives. They have sacrificed much so that we may now enjoy the fruits of their labors,” he said.
As part of the program, the local chief executive said that successful senior constituents will be nominated and have a chance to win in “Lola or Lolo Achievers” awards.
“In our culture, respect for the elders is paramount. We should recognize them for their inspiring achievements that brought honor to our city,” he explained.
The local government, he added, will implement an ordinance requiring all establishments and malls to give free parking for all senior citizens.
Estrada, likewise, said that he agreed with the council that those who are 60 years old and above must be exempted from color-coding scheme implemented citywide.
The city’s 145,830 registered senior citizens as of December 2017, he added, should enjoy these privileges in addition to existing benefits they are entitled to at present.
Included in the assistance package provided by the city hall are free medical services and other laboratory tests in all state-operated hospitals and health-care facilities.
Senior citizens, likewise, can avail themselves of free maintenance medicines for hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, cholesterol, cough, colds and other illnesses.
The mayor said that they could get prescription for their disease after consultation and diagnose from doctors and medical personnel in the 59 community health centers locally. Manila Health Department chief Dr. Benjamin Yson noted that for this year alone, the city government has appropriated P70 million for free maintenance medicines, such as Losartan, Amlodipine and Metoprolol for hypertension; Simvastatin and Gliclazide for high cholesterol; and Metformin for diabetes.
A sick and indigent elderly could receive P3,000 worth of maintenance medicines for one month, and other services like free regular physical examination, cardiac stress test and endoscopy, among others.
Other perks include free movies every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday in any movie houses in Manila; a birthday cash gift of P500; and an annual P6,000 social pension from the Department of Social Welfare and Development-National Capital Region, in coordination with the city government.
Those who reach the age of 100 years and above are given P100,000 cash gift.Office for Senior Citizens Affairs head Efren Manangan said 47 beneficiaries have already received this amount.