The Department of Social Welfare and Development – Cordillera Administrative Region (DSWD-CAR) has 101,988 active social pension beneficiaries who will receive their third-quarter stipend starting on the first week of July 2022.
For the first semester, the Department has released a total amount of PhP289,968,000.00 to over 99,000 senior citizens.
Under the Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens, qualified beneficiaries receive a monthly pension of PhP500.00 to augment their daily subsistence.
A report from the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) on 25 May 2022 states that more Filipinos are poor now compared to seven years ago due to the pandemic. With this, an increase in the number of indigent senior citizens is anticipated.
“We have been expecting the increase of poverty-stricken households this year that’s why we are strengthening the programs and services of DSWD to address or to somehow alleviate the suffering of those families and individuals affected by the pandemic. For the Social Pension Program, we have explored a number of means to distribute the stipend and to make sure that the beneficiaries will receive it within the quarter”, said DSWD CAR Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia, CESOII.
The Regional Program Management Office strategized to mobilize the staff to conduct simultaneous payout in various barangays. During the payout, paymasters tend to conduct house visits to deliver unclaimed pension because of certain reasons such as the beneficiary is bedridden or they have no authorized representatives to claim their stipend on their behalf.
“The Department is still looking into the possibility of maximizing the use of UCT cash cards in distributing the monthly pension of our elderlies. We are still waiting for guidance coming from the Central Office with regard to this matter. That is why we are advising our beneficiaries not to lose the cash cards distributed,” Garcia added.
With the enactment of the RA 11350 or the National Commission of Senior Citizens Act, the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) is mandated to ensure the full implementation of laws, policies, and programs of the government for senior citizens. All existing social welfare programs for older persons under DSWD will soon be transferred to the NCSC in accordance with the transitory provisions provided in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Act.
Earlier this year, Commissioner Reymar R. Mansilungan and Commissioner Ricardo Ranier G. Cruz III paid a visit to the DSWD Field Office CAR in preparation for the ongoing transition of programs between DSWD and the NCSC.
“We are encouraging all who have turned 60 years old to register in the nearest Office of the Senior Citizens Association (OSCA) to be able to enjoy the existing benefits provided in RA 9994,” Mansilungan said.
Under RA 9994, the Department of Social Welfare and Development is mandated to distribute the PhP500.00 monthly cash grant to indigent senior citizens.
As defined by the law, indigent senior citizens are those who are at least 60 years old, frail and sickly, do not receive any pension from other government agencies and institutions, have no permanent source of income/compensation, and have no regular financial support from family and relatives.
Individuals who are qualified in the provisions of the Social Pension Program are advised to coordinate with their local social welfare offices to be guided.
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