Cordillera Administrative Region- The Department of Social Welfare and Development here warns the public on the circulating text promising benefits for the eldery sector. The DSWD has been receiving reports from various individuals and local government officials who have received text messages claiming that they are entitled for a financial assistance intended for senior citizens and they have to email a certain email address to know more about the details on how to claim it. 

Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia, CESO II reiterates that the text messages did not come from the Agency. He also added that the danger of sending a message to the email address stated in the text message is that the scammers may use the personal information of the sender in their illegal activities. 

Financial assistance is provided by the agency through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations under the DSWD’s Crisis Intervention Unit. Clients seeking for financial assistance have to undergo an assessment to avail of the services. Assessments are done by authorized social workers and will never ask for any personal information through an unverified email address. 

On the other hand, a special program for senior citizens is also offered by the agency. The Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens provides assistance to eligible individuals through a PhP500.00 monthly stipend. The government has set conditions for a senior citizen to become eligible in this program; hence, not all senior citizens are intended to receive the social pension stipend. Among the conditions provided in DSWD Memorandum Circular 04 s. 2019 are the following: the senior citizen must be frail and sickly; they are not receiving any pension from SSS, GSIS, and other insurance companies; they are not receiving regular financial support from relatives; and that they do not have a permanent source of income.  Distribution or payout schedules are coordinated by the senior citizen focal person from the LSWDO or representatives from the OSCA in their respective areas. For the new beneficiaries, they will be notified by authorized representative as well.

Reports were also received by the agency that a certain group claiming to be affiliated with DSWD are distributing membership forms and are collecting membership fees of different amount, giving false promises to senior citizens that their membership will guarantee them to be prioritized when there is a financial assistance to be distributed to them. 

DSWD reiterates that it is not collecting any amount from clients in exchange of being included in the programs and services offered by the agency. The public are advised to be extra vigilant. People who received similar text messages and have encountered a suspicious group collecting membership fees are advised to report to the nearest DSWD offices or they can also verify the legitimacy of certain groups from the local government units. They may also report and verify through a phone call to the DSWD hotlines: (074) 661-0430, 0917-871-9893, 0917-872-0256, and 0919-065-5365 to 68.    #DSWD FIELD OFFICE CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, JEZEBEL L. GUMATAY

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