Manila Mayor Dr. Honey Lacuna brought Manila City Hall to Manileños through the first Usapang Maynila held at Brgy. 378 basketball covered court on Wednesday, September 14, 2022.

Mayor Dr. Lacuna, together with Vice Mayor Yul Servo Nieto and Third District Congressman Joel Chua, led the said event.

She was joined by the directors from the different departments of the City of Manila to address and to respond to the concerns of Manileños.

It was attended by the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Chairmen, Senior Citizen Presidents, and TODA Leaders from Zones 37 and 38, 3rd District of Manila.

Also present in the said event were Majority Leader Councilor Jong Isip, Councilor Apple Nieto, Councilor Fa Fugoso, Councilor Maile Atienza, Councilor Terrence Alibarbar, and Councilor Tol Zarcal.

Concerns about different services provided by the Manila City Government were discussed during the Usapang Maynila.

Senior Allowance and Pension

One of the concerns raised was the assistance received by senior citizens.

Manila Public Employment Services Office Director Fernan Bermejo clarified the difference between allowances and social pension.

Allowances of Php500 per month are given by the City of Manila to all the senior citizens of Manila.

Mayor Dr. Lacuna said that this is given thrice a year or every four months per district. Hence, the senior citizen allowance for the succeeding four months will only be given once all districts received their allowances.

Meanwhile, the social pension is funded and given by the national government thru the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to qualified senior citizens. This means that not all senior citizens who applied for social pension are guaranteed social pensioners.

One of its qualifications include that senior citizens should not be a pensioner of any other pensions.

Knee-level Flooding

A timely concern due to the rainy season that was raised was the knee-level flooding caused by the drainage along Aurora Boulevard.

City Engineer Engr. Armando Andres said that he will instruct his staff to check the area.

He added that there is an interceptor in Blumentritt that is supposed to pump the water to avoid the flooding.

Hence, his team will check to identify what causes the failure of the pump that results in flooding

Payment of Vendors

Meanwhile, concern about the vendors’ annual payment of PhP600 was also raised.

Mayor Dr. Lacuna clarified that based on her conversation with Manila Hawkers, the payment is called concessionaire’s fee amounting to PhP620 per month.

She added that this is for the payment for the space used by vendors to sell their goods and that these payments directly go to the coffers of the City of Manila.

Mayor Dr. Lacuna also said that the regular clearing of vendors is her way to maintain order with vending and to ensure that the citizens of Manila are given priority with the allotted spaces for vendors.

Tourism and Free Pass

With the start of the Christmas season in the country, a concern regarding a one-day free pass in Manila Zoo for senior citizens was raised.

Mayor Dr. Lacuna said that she will discuss with Vice Mayor Yul Servo Nieto the possibility of an ordinance by the City Council giving the senior citizens of Manila a one-day free pass in Manila Zoo.

Apart from the free pass, Manileños could also look forward to the Christmas Lantern contest said Department of Tourism, Culture, and Arts of Manila Director Charlie Dungo.

He added that each district will be adorned with one design of Christmas Lanterns.

This will distinguish each district and will show synchronization within the City of Manila.

Another upcoming event is the Christmas Tree Lighting on November 15 at the Kartilya ng Katipunan.

Gifts to Manileños of Zones 37 and 38

Mayor Dr. Lacuna took the opportunity to conduct her door-to-door visits. Together with Vice Mayor Yul Servo, they visited seven patients (three dialysis patients and four stroke patients) in zones 37 and 38.

Her free consultation with the patients also included financial assistance and wheelchair for those who are unable to walk from Manila City Government, and milk given to senior citizens from the donation of Birch Tree.

Mayor Dr. Lacuna vowed that this is not her first and last visit to the district.

She added that Usapang Maynila will be conducted per zone to different areas of Manila.

This is to ensure that common concerns that are experienced and dealt with by Manileños in their respective zones are heard and addressed.