Manila’s city government is now distributing financial benefits to its citizens through the recently introduced Manila City Card, described as a “free, reloadable and hassle-free prepaid card.”
The card “is designed to be a secured and faster means for Manileños to receive their benefits from the city government. It is issued by OmniPay Inc. and co-branded with the city of Manila under the UnionPay brand.
“I don’t want you to have a difficult time in receiving your benefits, you don’t have to fall in line, and you don’t have to wait for a long time,” Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada told the city’s elderly in a recent meeting. “That’s why the first batch we have given the cards to are senior citizens, because we want to ensure they will have an easy life.”
Manila’s Office for Senior Citizens Affairs says there are some 132,000 registered senior citizens in the city.
Senior citizens in Manila, under the Estrada administration, receive a P500 cash gift on their birthdays. The city government also started giving out P6,000 social pensions annually to indigent seniors.
Centenarians are given a special cash gift of P100,000. Since April 2016, 17 centenarians have received that amount in the city, with “many more being processed in the coming weeks,” the Osca said.
Each centenarian also receives P10,000 during the yearly celebration of the Araw ng Maynila on June 24.
City personnel, teachers, law enforcers, city hospital patients, and the city’s general constituents will receive the Manila City Card next, the mayor said.
Melito Salazar, board chairman of OmniPay, said beneficiaries of financial assistance, such as senior citizens, police officers, and teachers, used to call or visit City Hall, sign papers, and follow up every month just to receive benefits.
However, with the City Card, Salazar said they will only have to go to an ATM and withdraw the cash given by the city.
Manila City Card recipients also do not need to open a bank account to qualify for it. The card can also be used for payment in supermarkets, department stores, drug stores, and other UnionPay card-accepting establishments.
Cardholders can also withdraw cash, inquire their balances and pay bills at Bancnet ATMs nationwide and at any Unionpay ATM worldwide. The cards can also be reloaded at over 4,000 Cash-In Cash-Out partner outlets of OmniPay nationwide.
“This is a very convenient way for them to receive their benefits from the Manila city government,” Salazar added.