Cordillera Administrative Region– The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens will now be serving all indigent senior citizens in the region due to the expansion of the said program.

“The region will be receiving around 34,000 additional slots for the Social Pension Program. This is aside from the 35,409 slots for 2015.” DSWD-CAR OIC- Regional Director Janet P. Armas said.

This number will cover all indigent senior citizens as recorded by the Department through the lists submitted by the members of the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) and Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines (FSCAP) as validated by the Local Social Welfare and Development Offices.

“We are expecting that all indigent senior citizens in our list will be covered by the program since we only have around 26,000 seniors waitlisted. We have already submitted the initial list, thus we are now waiting for the final list so we can start in distributing the stipend”, Director Armas added.

For the first batch, additional Php 104,310,000.00 is expected to be distributed to 17,385 social pensioners.

Meanwhile, Social Pension Program Focal Person Carol U. Habawel asked the assistance of the LSWDO, FSCAP and/ or OSCA in properly identifying possible social pensioners in their respective areas.

“Since the available slots are more than the initial list, there are no reasons not to cover all the indigent senior citizens in the Cordillera. Thus, we ask our local social welfare and development officers to look into the list and update if necessary”, Habawel shared.

As per amendment of the implementing guidelines of the Social Pension Program, pensioners are identified by the Local Social Welfare and Development Officers (LSWDOs) in coordination with the OSCA and FSCAP.

“We also ask the potential pensioners or their relatives to coordinate with the social welfare and development offices in their LGUs to facilitate their inclusion in the program”, Habawel added.

DSWD’s Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizen is for senior citizens characterized as frail, sickly or with disability and without pension or permanent source of income or regular support from his family and relatives to meet his basic needs. This procedure is implemented in observance of Republic Act No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 which mandates the provision of additional benefits and privileges and institutionalization of social protection by providing monthly stipend to indigent senior citizens as support to the family in providing care to their sick and disabled senior citizens. # DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva

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