By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
ILOILO City Executive Assistant for Senior Citizen Eleanor Gregorio clarified on Thursday that old senior citizen identification cards (IDs) are still valid and can still be used for official transactions.
Gregorio made the clarification after some senior citizens stormed the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) as early as 1 a.m. Tuesday to process the renewal of their IDs.
The elderly received information that they are required to renew senior citizen IDs because the old ones will not be accepted starting next week.
Based on reports, Mayor Jerry Treñas wants to replace the old IDs that were signed by former Mayor Jose Espinosa III.
But Gregorio clarified the matter in a press conference on Thursday.
According to Gregorio, there was a misunderstanding of earlier pronouncements on the renewal of the senior citizen IDs. She emphasized that the elderly can still use their old IDs.
“Ginakasubo naton nga nabutang sa lime light ang OSCA because of an announcement nga siguro wala lang naintindihan nga naga-renew kita sang ID, which the word ‘renew’ is not correct,” she stressed.
Gregorio also clarified that there will be no deadline for the processing of new IDs.
She also vowed that everyone will be accommodated and there will be no cut off of elderlies accommodated per day.
“Ang pag-issue sang ID whether new or replacement, wala kami i-refuse and wala kami sang limit as long as ara ka dira i-akomodar gid namon. Pero indi man kinahanglan nga magdali-dali kita kay wala man ya gin-announce si Mayor deadline,” she said.
Gregorio said that they have a long-term plan to replace all the old senior citizen IDs and single out a new design with a signatory and the picture of the current mayor.
“Nagaplano kita kag si mayor nga senior citizen ID himuan naton design para nga isahon nalang,” he said.
But as of now, she stressed that old IDs are still valid.
She added that the issuances of new IDs will be voluntary and not totally required for the elderlies for now.
“Wala man naton ginapilit ang tanan magpa-ilis but kung ma-amat amat na namon islan ang kalabanan, lantawon namon sa data namon how many have changed their IDs and into the new ones. Siguro maabot ang panahon, kung ievaluate ni mayor kung ano iya nga panawagan sa aton mga senior citizens but as of subong, wala kita may ginahatag na deadline,” Gregorio said.
Following the misleading pronouncements, Gregorio said that the mayor already ordered them to make all transactions of senior citizens as comfortable as possible.
In fact, starting on Monday, Gregorio said they will transfer the OSCA from the second floor of the City Hall to the ground floor.
Before this, Gregorio added that the city government already planned out transferring the office to the ground floor.
“Although may plano naman tani si mayor nga ang opisina sang OSCA, isayluhon sa first floor para indi na masaka ang senior citizens sa second floor. Kon Makita niyo ongoing ang renovation dira because ang City Gallery ginsaylo na sa Kerr Building but manaog na kami sa Lunes para dira kami anay maopisina kag mahapusan ang mga senior citizen, indi na sila magsaka sa babaw,” she stressed.
For those who wish to replace their old IDs, Gregorio said that they only need to secure proof of residency and date of birth thru birth certificates or any government issued IDs with a bearing of date of birth.
She explained that the elderlies should personally process the IDs since a personal photo is embedded on the new IDs.
For bed ridden elderlies, Gregorio said their family members or relatives can visit their office and the OSCA can service them in their own homes.
Data from the OSCA showed that there are more than 60,000 senior citizens in Iloilo City.
Senior citizen IDs are used to get privileges and discounts in several transactions and services.