DSWD has P1.2-B for pension of poor seniors for 2012

February 28, 2012 11:30 am 

MANILA, Feb. 28 — More than P1.2 billion has been allocated for this year by the government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the social pension of 185,914 indigent senior citizens nationwide.

For 2011, the DSWD has released P694,177,000 for the social pension of 126,558 indigent senior citizens in all regions, including the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

As of Feb. 20 this year, a total of 126,558 senior citizens or 91 percent of the 138,960 qualified beneficiaries for 2011 have been receiving their P500 monthly social pension from the DSWD. Pay-out of stipend for the 4th quarter of 2011 is still being done by the DSWD Regional Offices.

OIC-Secretary Undersecretary Parisya Hashim-Taradji said that the DSWD continues to hold meetings with senior citizens groups, particularly the Confederation of Older Person’s Association of the Philippines (COPAP) and Coalition of Services for the Elderly (COSE), to address issues and concerns raised by senior citizens themselves to effectively and efficiently implement the program.

“Senior citizens groups should be mobilized to help the DSWD implement the program, they can assist us in the validation of qualified beneficiaries,” OIC-Secretary Taradji said.

The social pension program is provided under Republic Act No. 9994, also known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act (ESCA) of 2010.

The law intends to serve indigent senior citizens who are frail, sickly and disabled, without any regular source of income and/or support from any member of the family, and not receiving other pension benefits from government and private agencies.

Priority beneficiaries of the social pension are those senior citizens, 77 years old and above. The list of beneficiaries came from the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) of the DSWD, which is the database identifying who and where the poor are.

The qualified senior citizens who are not included in the NHTS-PR data were also considered as replacement to those non-qualified and delisted senior citizens due to death or transfer of residence. (PNA) FFC/DSWD-PR/mec


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