‘TENDER LOVING CARE’ FOR DAVAO CITY SENIOR CITIZENS
BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Plenty of chairs, an air-conditioned building and maybe free coffee and snacks—and TLC (Tender Loving Care).
TLC is a commodity always offered for free but the amenities and perks in store for Davao City’s seniors citizens may have to wait longer to enjoy them at the Office Of Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA).
City councilor Victorio “Bong” Advincula, Jr., said there is no funding for operation for OSCA in the 2016 budget of the local government and the office will have to make do with its cramped 20-sqm office at the ground floor of the Davao City Council.
Advincula also said there is no plantilla positions approved for OSCA, which is currently manned by a skeleton force of contractual workers headed by OSCA head Azucena Bajao.
Advincula, chairman of the Council Committee on Social Welfare said he would urge the Council Committee on Appointment and Reorganization to fast tract the creation of the plantilla positions and the Local Finance Board to propose funding for OSCA in the future annual budget.
The City Council is set to approve the 2016 annual budget of P63 billion, which had nothing for the operation of the OSCA.
In the meantime that the office is hobbled by funding lack, Advincula said he would request Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to allocate funds for the maintenance and operation of OSCA to be included in supplemental budgets next year.
The creation of the OSCA is mandated by Republic Act No. 7432 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.
Under RA No. 7432, card-bearing senior citizens, among other perks, enjoy 20 percent discounts on purchase of goods and services.
Bajao said her office has issued Identification Cards to nearly 200,000 senior citizens.
She said the Davao City OSCA is among few units in the country which has a computerized data base fed to the OSCA national office under the Department of Social Welfare Development (DSWD).
Tackling the 2016 budget for operation of the local government in a recent session of the City Council, city councilors noted that there was no funding for OSCA in the budget.
They suggested that the funding woes of OSCA be resolved and that amenities should be provided for its office including funding for plantilla positions.
Aboitiz Group subsidiaries AboitizPower and Therma South have donated a building for use by senior citizens and the OSCA.
Located at Osmena Park beside the City Council building, the one-storey donttion named Senior Citizens Center will also serve as the office of the Federation of Senior Citizens.