DSWD to continue P500 monthly stipend for indigent elders in 2014

January 6, 2014 11:11 am 

By Leilani Junio and Pearl Ann Nolasco

MANILA, Jan. 5 (PNA) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will continue providing the P500 monthly social pension for indigent senior citizens this year.

According to DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman, the program covers 77 years old and above who are frail, sickly or has disability.

“The indigent senior citizens should also be not receiving pension from Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) or Veterans Pension,” Soliman said over the weekend.

Soliman added that senior citizens receiving the pension should not have permanent source of income or regular support from relatives.

“The P500 monthly financial assistance aims to improve the living condition of eligible indigent senior citizens to help them in their needs such as medicines, food and others,” she said.

The DSWD chief added the DSWD is pushing to lower the age bracket to accommodate more indigent senior citizens, but lamented that the current allotted budget for the program will not be enough to cover yet the 60- to 76-year-old indigent elders as of now.

“Let us hope that by lobbying in congress to have an increased budget for the elders for the year 2015, the appeal to lower the age bracket will have the chance to be heard and fulfilled soon,” she said.

Based on the records of DSWD, about 254,175 senior citizens have received their monthly stipend worth P500 as of December 27, 2013.

For 2014, around 46,954 indigents are expected to be added to that number to cover the indigent elders.

Last October 1-7, 2013, an elderly Filipino Week Celebration was spearhead by DSWD and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and attended by many senior citizens.

During the event, many elders expressed hope the government will heed their clamor of lowering the age bracket to become recipients of the P500 monthly stipend to help them cope with aging and enjoy the remaining fruitful years of their lives. (PNA)

LAM/LSJ AND PAN-OJT

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