Four gov't agencies conduct forum on RA 9994 to mark Elderly Week

October 3, 2013 9:10 am 

MANILA, Oct. 2 — A forum on Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2012 was conducted Wednesday morning at the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) central office in Quezon City.

The forum, conducted by DSWD in cooperation with Department of Health (DOH), Civil Service Commission (CSC) and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) aims to update senior citizens-participants on the provisions of RA 9994.

It focused on sharing some basic information about latest development and programs of DSWD, DOH, CSC and GSIS on the concerns of elders in line with the Elderly Week celebration.

During the forum, Remedios Guerrero, a speaker from DOH cited the benefits of RA 9994 towards the improvement of the total well-being of the elderly.

Guerrero cited some of the best features under the law which the elderly or relatives of those who attended the forum should be fully aware of so that they can enjoy the benefits in case they (senior citizen) get hospitalized or avail of medical services.

She also disclosed that indigents who are 77 years old and above and classified poor by DSWD that their hospitalization is fully subsidized because they are automatically listed as members of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) under the social protection program provided by the government.

Meanwhile, GSIS and CSC representatives in the forum tackled the requirements for retirees that want to avail of benefits as government employees.

Bernardita Erpelo, representative from CSC said that those who will retire need not come personally to CSC central office to get their clearance of pending case or non-pending case.

“All they need to do is coordinate with their Human Management Resource Office (HRMO) who will facilitate the filing. We are doing this to lessen the burden of mostly elders to make their retiring more convenient for them,” she explained.

GSIS representatives on the other hand, shared the good programs that are currently being implemented towards government employee clients, particularly the elderly who are usually retirees.

“The GSIS has improved the pension program by increasing the minimum pension to Php5,000.00 starting 2013,” said Rosario P. Abuan, a GSIS representative.

Abuan added that the GSIS has also revoked the personal appearance requirement for pensioners and enhanced the survivorship benefit.

“The annual visit of the pensioner during their birthday to activate their status is no longer required. This was revoked to spare pensioners who are usually old and sickly,” she explained.

As an alternative measure, GSIS partnered with National Statistics Office (NSO) and Local Civil Registrar which will provide a report on the status of pensioner.

“With the reversal of the old policy, surviving spouses and dependents of GSIS members and pensioners can now receive their monthly pension benefits even if they are gainfully employed and receiving income or pension from other institutions,” she added. (PNA)



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