Senior citizens don’t need to worry about the once-a-week ban on cars--if they are residents of Makati City.
The city government has passed a new directive exempting its senior citizens with BLU cards from the number-coding (also called color-coding) scheme being implemented.
"We know how important transportation is to our seniors, and with this new directive, we hope to lessen their burden of needing to hire or look for other means of transportation," Marjorie De Veyra, acting city administrator, said.
De Veyra said the directive is particularly vital during times when Makati City residents, who own cars, have to bring their seniors to hospitals or medical clinics for medical attention.
Hermenigildo San Miguel, director of the city's Department of Public Safety, clarified that traffic enforcers will not apprehend banned vehicles that have an elderly person as an occupant.
However, if a banned vehicle, even if registered to a senior citizen, doesn't have an elderly passenger, it will be apprehended.
“Even if the car is owned by a senior citizen, if at the time of the apprehension he is not around, the motorist shall not be exempted from the coding scheme,” he said.
He added that senior citizens should also present their BLU card to the apprehending officer.
Makati City Jejomar Binay, meanwhile, commended the proponents of the directive.
“This is a good way of repaying our seniors who have contributed much to the city’s growth during their younger years. They deserve to be honored for all their hard work,” he said.
The number-coding exemption is only one of the many special benefits being provided by the Makati city government to its elderly citizens.
Under the “Harana sa Matatanda,” Makati’s senior citizens receive special cakes on their birthdays and golden wedding anniversaries.
Elderly people in Makati also receive an annual allowance of P4,000 under the BLU Card program.