Makati awards P100,000 to city’s 18th centenarian

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The Makati City government recently awarded P100,000 cash gift to a World War II veteran tracked as the city’s 18th centenarian.

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Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay personally handed the cash gift to100-year-old Narciso  Cayetano of Barangay Pembo during a simple ceremony on Monday, at the Office of the Mayor.

According to Binay, Cayetano is only the second male awardee since the program began in December 2012 upon passage of City Ordinance 2012- 099.

Cayetano, a former member of the United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE), was located through  joint efforts of the Makati Social Welfare Department (MSWD) and the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA).

He was born on June 16, 1914 and married to Anita Almonte. Their marriage was blessed with an only child, Marissa.

After World War II, Cayetano became the Procurement Officer at Camp Aguinaldo. After his retirement, he worked as a detachment officer in different security agencies. He also served as barangay kagawad in Pembo for two terms, from 1982 to 1987.

The centenarian was accompanied by his 90-year old wife Anita and his daughter Marissa when he was honored by Mayor Binay.

Of the nine persons in the first batch of centenarians awarded in January 2013, only one was  male and four of them were honored posthumously. The P100,000 cash gift is awarded to the next of kin of qualified recipients who passed on before the scheduled ceremony.

Starting this year, the awarding has been done quarterly upon recommendation of MSWD to increase the chances of recipients being able to attend the ceremony themselves.

Cayetano and the previous honorees were able to meet the criteria set by the MSWD, the lead implementor of the BLU Card Program.

To qualify for the program, one must be a Filipino citizen; must be a bonafide resident of Makati; must have reached 100 years old between January and December of the current year; and  must be a BLU Card and White Card holder for at least five years.

BLU Cardholders also enjoy a host of other benefits from the city government, including cash gifts every year ranging from P2,000 to P4,000 based on age brackets, given in June and December.

They are also entitled to unlimited free entrance to premier cinemas in Makati, free tours in Metro Manila and other parts of the country through Lakbay Saya, free salon and spa services, cakes on their birthday and golden wedding anniversary, free medical care and hospitalization and free medicines for maintenance and various illnesses.

They are also exempted from the city’s number coding scheme, and upon their death, their beneficiaries are entitled to P3,000 burial assistance.

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