Gov’t to launch new social services for youth, elderly

Thursday, July 31, 2008
Issue 421, Page 2
Word count: 547
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Macau’s first integrated service centre for young people and a personal emergency support system for the elderly are expected to be in operation by June 2009 and the end of the year respectively, said the head of the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) yesterday.

Locally established and non-profit making organisations who wish to cooperate with the IAS to operate either one of the two services were requested to submit proposals between September and October.

According to president of the IAS, Ip Peng Kin, in a press conference yesterday, the youth and family integrated service centre is an independent complex that occupies four levels of 2,700 square metres on Rua do Regedor, Taipa.

The organisation which is selected to run the service centre will receive from the government a maximum monthly financial assistance of 380,000 patacas and sign a cooperative agreement of two years.

The IAS president said that the service centre is located in Taipa because the population of people aged under 19 living in the island has been growing sharply by nearly 40 percent from 2001 to 2006 of more than 14,000.

He also said that community services and facilities shall be available for the public in June 2009.

The service centre, apart from a car park in the basement, will house offices, computer rooms, multi-purpose rooms, group meeting rooms and study rooms.

The complex was built at a cost of 30 million patacas, Mr Ip said, adding the government has reserved 3.5 million patacas to the selected organisation for internal renovation.

Emergency support system

The personal system, according to the IAS, will provide round-the-clock emergency assistance to elderly people especially those who live alone.

In the 2008 Policy Address, setting up a household safety mechanism was one of the proposed measures in order to further strengthen the local caring service for elderly and other people in need, Mr Ip said.

The selected organisation will receive a monthly subsidy of 340,000 patacas and sign a cooperative agreement with the IAS for three years.

The government will also provide the operator a 450 square-metre office in the Ilha Verde Refugee Centre on Avenida do Conselheiro Borja.

The IAS president said the emergency system, works through the landline phones, is expected to start operating in November or December this year.

Users will need to purchase a system console costing 1,000 patacas and pay a monthly service fee of 200 patacas, Mr Ip said, adding the IAS could offer financial assistance to those who couldn’t afford the costs.

Macau at present has about 38,000 people aged 65 or above and of them, 15 percent or nearly 6,000 live alone, according to the IAS.

During the first year of operation, Mr Ip said the government estimated that about five to six percent or 2,400 of the elderly population will apply for the emergency service.

Proposals and other documents for the youth service centre contract should be submitted to the IAS headquarters for assessment on October 8 or October 9 and the elderly emergency system contract on September 16 or September 17.

The assessment results will be announced on the IAS headquarters notice board and http://www.ias.gov.mo within 90 days after the applications close.

Written enquiries can be made to the IAS between August and September and responses will be published at http://www.ias.gov.mo.

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