By Jel Santos
Senior citizens from various barangays urged on Monday the Makati City Council to hasten the approval of the city’s 2019 executive budget.
Some officers and members of senior citizen councils expressed concern over the delay in benefits and privileges provided to them by the city due to the budget, which majority councilors belonging to the opposition bloc has failed to approve.
Since the first reading of the budget proposal on October 24, 2018, members of the opposition bloc continue to hold its approval in abeyance.
With the budget impasse, major programs and new initiatives of Mayor Abigail “Abby” Binay for the benefit of the elderly cannot be executed.
Rogelio Villamarin, Barangay Council of Senior Citizens (BCSC) of Barangay Pembo chairman, said senior citizens in the city will surely be dismayed should their benefits not be given due to the budget approval delay.
Anita Bay, BCSC chairperson of Barangay Guadalupe Viejo, said that they are really looking forward to the enhanced benefits of the incumbent mayor, which are all included in the 2019 budget.
According to BCSC Chairman Salvador Estorque of Barangay Sta. Cruz, the delay is not right as many indigent seniors rely on their benefits from the local government.
“They should not compromise the welfare of senior citizens and all residents of Makati. How can the Mayor and the city run without a budget? How can proposed projects be implemented without a budget?” Estorque stressed.
Senior citizens in Makati are also anticipating the quick approval of the additional P10,000 cash gift for Blu Card holders aged 90 to 99 years, which the incumbent mayor proposed in November 2018.