Photo courtesy of Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Puerto Princesa

Mayoral aspirant and city councilor Atty. Peter “Jimbo” Maristela on Wednesday dismissed allegations he claimed are being made by his rivals that he will abolish the senior citizens’ allowance if he wins the mayoralty race.

Maristela said that as the primary author of the existing ordinance institutionalizing the allowance system for seniors, he will even seek an increase from the current P2,000 that they are receiving every quarter.

“’Yong mga senior citizens, ang sabi nga, baka pag nagpalit daw ‘yong mayor tatanggalin natin ang allowance nila na P2,000 per quarter. Hindi totoo ‘yon. Ipagpapatuloy natin ‘yon at kung kinakailangan, itataas pa natin ‘yon,” Maristela said.

Under City Ordinance No. 994, senior citizens in Puerto Princesa City are entitled to a designated amount of cash aid every three months, which are disbursed through their respective barangays.

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Maristela said, in an interview with Palawan News, that the false claim is being peddled by his detractors.

He noted that the existing ordinance came about after the Commission on Audit (COA) flagged the Puerto Princesa city government for disbursing allowances worth P500 every quarter without an ordinance that supported the disbursement.

“Noong unang nagbigay ‘yong city government ng allowance sa mga senior citizen na P500 lamang per quarter. Kinuwestyon ‘yon ng COA, na sa kanilang observation report, ang sabi ng COA, bakit nagbibigay ng allowance ang city government sa mga senior citizen, wala namang ordinansa. Noong nabasa ko iyon, agad-agad akong nagpasa ng ordinansa na i-institutionalize ang pagbibigay ng allowance sa mga senior citizen,” he added.

Maristela also vowed to keep serving his constituents, especially those in the vulnerable sector, should he win in the May elections.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.