They no longer have to go to City Hall, as they did last Monday.
Rolando Llagono Jr., head of the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA), said they suspended release of the cash aid yesterday to correct discrepancies in the list of beneficiaries during Monday’s distribution.
It took time to reconcile names in the official list of beneficiaries, he explained.
Cash shortages in distribution points and the late notice of cash withdrawal given to depository banks were among the lapses noted in the release in the past few days.
Despite this problem, Llagono said 47,000 senior citizens were able to claim their P4,000 cash assistance from the city.
In yesterday’s budget hearing, the City Council questioned Llagono on his proposal for OSCA’s P6 million budget as well as their handling of the cash aid distribution in the past few days.
The P4,000 was supposed to be distributed last Saturday, Dec. 8, but the activity spilled over to Monday.
Llagono said that personnel in charge of distribution had to verify the spelling of names of the 7,000 claimants and their OSCA numbers which appear on their ID cards.
Llagono said errors cannot be avoided during the reconciliation of records.
Councilor Sisinio Andales asked Llagono who prepared the cash envelopes that bore the face of Mayor Michael Rama. The envelopes were used during the distribution of cash assistance last Saturday.
Llagono said these envelopes were printed by the mayor’s office and were sent to the city treasurer’s office for use.
Councilor Alvin Arcilla said 300 of the 400 senior citizens in barangay Camputhaw were unable to receive the cash aid because there was no more avaible cash at the distribution point.
Llagono said he could not account for it.
Councilor Noel Wenceslao said he was told by some officers of the city’s depository banks that the CTO only notified them that they plan to withdraw funds last Friday, a day before the actual distribution.
“The banks ran out of money because they were unable to withdraw from the Central Bank. That’s why the funds for the cash aid ran out,” Wenceslao said.
Councilor Margot Osmeña said the executive department should have postponed the distribution of cash aid if there were inadequate funds. She asked if the treasury personnel were bonded officers, a securit measure needed to protect the delivery of cash assistance to the different barangays. /Edison A. delos Angeles, Correspondent