Tuesday, November 12, 2019

85-year-old man in Songkhla gets first ID card after DNA proof

Jun 20. 2019
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By The Nation

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A poor 85-year-old man living in Songkhla’s Sadao district got his first identification card on Thursday, which allows him to get state welfare benefits for the first time in his life.

Chavakit Suwankhiri, Sadao district chief, and Sumet Sasithorn, mayor of Sadao Municipality, held a press conference at the municipality office to announce the issuance of ID card for Choy Sae-tiew or Uncle Pong.

After a Facebook post, officials from the municipality found that Choy had been living alone in a makeshift house in the Ban Prai community. He has no children and does not get a monthly allowance for the poor and elderly.

The municipality has been providing dried food and necessities for Choy since April, pending verification of his Thai nationality.

Choy told the officials that he has a younger sister, called Yinmoi Sae-tiew living in Tambon Klong Hae in Songkhla’s Hat Yai district.

Yinmoi confirmed with Sadao district officials that she is Choy's sister and officials arranged for the two to have DNA test. Prince Songkla Hat Yai Hospital confirmed on May 17 that the two are siblings.

The Sadao municipality then processed documents for the Sadao district office to approve an ID card and to add Choy’s name to household registration. The office gave its approval on June 17.

On Thursday the district office issued an ID card for Choy and Sanya Ratanaphan, chairman of the Ban Prai community, agreed to add Choy's name to his household registration so that he could receive monthly allowances from the government and other benefits.

Choy smiled happily when he got his first ID card and he thanked both the district office and the municipality for helping him to become a legal Thai citizen.

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